Consumers place Brexit as top concern as amid fears of retail downturn

SAHAR NAZIR | January 29, 2019

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Consumers have placed Brexit as their top concern for the year ahead amid fears it would leave a dent in annual retail sales.Meanwhile, physical retail is expected to reach around 20 per cent overcapacity in the next decade.According to a report by Natwest and Retail Economics, which surveyed 2,000 people, 48 per cent of consumers said Brexit was their biggest concern heading into 2019, followed by “a weaker economy” at 13 per cent and “lack of savings” at 12 per cent. Thirty-five per cent of consumers reported they would spend less on experiences such as eating out, going to the cinema and bowling in 2019. The report also revealed that 41 per cent of consumers were expecting their personal finances to weaken in the year ahead. However, Natwest’s head of retail and leisure David Scott believes that by the end of the year, real wage growth will be up by 1.3 per cent and that the sector “has a real opportunity to succeed”.

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