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Retailing in the U.KThe retail industry in the UK is a highly competitive arena, in which price rollbacks, promotions

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Retailing in the U.K The retail industry in the UK is a highly competitive arena, in which price rollbacks, promotions and heavy discounts are the tools in the battle for share in an increasingly consolidated market. Over the review period, the increased concentration of the retail market in the hands of a smaller number of operators allowed superior economies of scale, which in turn created lower and more affordable prices. Far wider consumer choice was also made possible as retail outlet sizes grew. Consumer confidence has been maintained even though problems such as those of 11 September 2001, a serious foot and mouth outbreak in British farming in 2001, and a wider global economic downturn. We are still a nation of shopkeepers, and shoppers: employment in retailing has increased, and there are signs that consumers are becoming cannier, more selective and more demanding, in terms of price. Also, greater affluence has brought with it a taste for the good life: higher quality food products, more expensive personal and electrical goods with which to indulge our leisure time, and also a desire to cut corners and choose simplicity and convenience, both in food buying, and ...read more.


Increasing concern over levels of consumer debt, now over �1 trillion, prompted the government and the financial institutions to apply cautionary measures to moderate spending in 2004. Despite the increasing debt levels, retail spending continues to rise in 2004, and only unemployment fears may destabilise the high levels of consumer confidence apparent in the UK at the present time. Longer term, slowing growth within a context of low inflation and pressure on prices looks the likely outlook for retail sales. The Morrison's/Safeway takeover will put further pressure on the food retailing environment. Both retailers are noted for their good value fresh food slant, and the combined buying power of these two huge chains will discourage hikes in the value of basic commodities such as bread and fresh vegetables. Value increases will continue to be achieved through an emphasis on convenience: takeaway food, higher quality gourmet ingredients, organic and locally-sourced produce, as well as premium snack items. The infants wear market is calculated as sales of garments for children between the ages of 0-2 years. The values for each country are segmented into dresses, sets, pants and shorts, play clothing and nightwear. ...read more.


Table The UK menswear market reached a value of $12.9 billion in 2004, having grown with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6% in the 2000-2004 periods. This growth was stronger than that of the European market itself, leading to the UK market's regional share increasing by 2 percentage points between 2000-2004, account -ting for 15.5% of the regional market by the end of this period. The leading revenue source for the UK menswear market in 2004 was the trousers sector, which accounted for 46.5% of the market's value. In value terms this sector was worth $6 billion in 2004. The shirts sector generated the second largest revenues in 2004, reaching a value of $4.2 billion, equivalent to 32.4% of the market's value. Going forward, the market is expected to continue expanding at similar growth rates. By 2009, the market is forecast to reach a value of $15.3 billion, which equates to a CAGR of 3.5% in the 2004-2009 periods, higher than the European market. The European figure will be bolstered by the likes of Russia and Poland (expected to grow with CAGRs of 8.5% and 8.1%) but hindered by many of the UK's western Counterparts, recovering from recent declines. ...read more.

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