Although 2016 is now a memory, 2017 has already brought the latest instalment in a familiar tale. Morrisons has unveiled a new round of price cuts.
But while Morrisons may be trumpeting lower prices – and Poundland is running a 50p Sale, its first – many retailers will be pondering the extent to which, if at all, they can pass on higher costs to shoppers.
Price is likely to be one of the stories of the year as retailers grapple with currency concerns such as the decline in value of the pound.
Consequent price rises, combined with pressure on people’s pay, may contribute to muted consumer demand.
Such fears prompted a fall in some retailers’ share prices today as analysts at Deutsche Bank forecast a “more challenging year” for general retailers.
Along with price, we take a look at some of the other big themes likely to feature in retail this year.
Happy New Year.
Quote of the day
“No-one loves a bargain more than Poundland customers and they’re asking us to do more”
– Poundland trading director Barry Williams as he launched the retailer’s first Sale
Today in numbers
Average price cut on 800 items as part of Morrisons’ latest value offensive
Sales of print books in the week to Christmas Day – the highest takings for the comparable period since 2007, according to Nielsen BookScan
Fashion bellwether Next posts its fourth-quarter update, covering the period to Christmas Eve. The BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index for December will also be published.
George MacDonald, Executive Editor