Leader: Confidence counts as retail faces up to tough times

George MacDonald

Think what you like about Boris Johnson, but there’s something to be said for a can-do attitude.

If there’s one thing the new prime minister possesses by the bucketload it’s confidence. But confidence is in short supply elsewhere.

Consumer confidence slipped across all measures according to the latest GfK study. It will be fascinating to see what the next survey finds as Johnson’s administration takes over. Because confidence is an elusive quality in retail at the moment. Not just as a result of Brexit uncertainty – that’s perhaps the least of it.

It’s down to the consumer, that ultimate retail disruptor. New ways of shopping, new patterns of spending and an ability vote to with their purse, unconstrained by any chief whip, have knocked the wind out of some big retail names whose belief in themselves was once unassailable.


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