UK retailers have become used to facing yet another difficult trading year.
Over the past decade, ever since the financial crisis of 2008, times have been tough for retailers.
Austerity, rising costs, shifting consumer demand, have all been making life hard, and then, just as retailers were acclimatising to a new world order, along comes Brexit.
The devaluation of the pound pushing up prices and the uncertainty surrounding future trade arrangements are new and very unwelcome factors for retailers to manage.
Against this latest backdrop expect to see more casualties, just as we did a decade ago.
While disruptors like Amazon, using new technology, have designed a business that is entirely customer focused, there are legacy retailers, like Toys R Us, that have ignored changing consumer demand and left it far too late to adapt.
They are encumbered with expensive, unprofitable, property, and shrinking demand.
Indeed all retailers are faced with shrinking demand, not just from consumers having less money to spend but their preference to prioritise leisure spending over buying more products.
And with consumer confidence weak because of future economic uncertainty, there is a reluctance to spend on big ticket items.
So, as we all have to eat, it is non-food retailers that are feeling the greatest burden, and will produce the majority of casualties.
Meanwhile expect to see more consolidation as retailers look at ways to cut their costs, reach a wider audience, and become more efficient businesses.
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