How's the retail sector feeling for you?

ended 21. October 2021

On Friday 22nd October at 07:00, the Office for National Statistics is publishing the latest retail sales data - for September. With this in mind, we want to know:

  • As a small independent retailer, how have September and October been for you?
  • How confident are you about the run-up to Christmas this year?
  • Are you worried that the rising cost of living (think energy bills, fuel prices) could mean people spend less — or see potential customers flock to bigger brands?
  • Have you been impacted by supply chain issues over the past month or two?

As ever, no need for an essay. Soundbites, not War and Peace! 4-5 sentences will do nicely. If you're a Premium user, your response will be edited to ensure it reads like a dream. It will also appear at the top of the News Alert!

5 responses from the Newspage community

Star Quote
"At NOT ON AMAZON, business picked back up in September after a very slow August but there's still a lot of discussion in the group about relatively low sales. That said, our members are generally optimistic about the Christmas period given that large retailers are having problems getting their stock through the post-Brexit customs checks in time to sell. While container jams are hitting some of our businesses in the supply chain, smaller scale indies generally have the ability to change production methods more easily so it's not the end of the world. We have also seen a noticeable shift in attitude during the pandemic with more and more people deciding to support independents rather than faceless corporations after experiencing financial hardship first hand. There are bound to be some who have already bought all their presents from Amazon but I think a good number are going to be waiting until the last minute to see how much cash they have spare, if any. Hopefully, they'll then be buying local."
Star Quote
"September and October have thankfully been really busy months for my business, but I am really struggling to get the stock I require to keep providing my subscription boxes and only feel this is going to get worse. For smaller retailers, it feels like everything has got harder to source. The supply chain crisis has been amplified for smaller businesses."
"As a small retail business, September and October have been fairly steady, much the same as any other year. I am really confident about the run-up to Christmas and have prepared well, starting product development and production in May in order to keep on top of stock issues. Stock issues have been a problem since the beginning of last summer for our industry and haven't got any better. I feel spending will be up this Christmas despite the rising cost of living, as people haven't been able to see family and friends and almost everyone I talk to wants to support small, local businesses."
"As an online marketplace focusing on locally made products, we have experienced significant growth in September, and October is already on-track to outstrip that. We are seeing an increasing trend among the public to shop local where possible, which many of our small independent businesses are luckily able to capitalise on. That said, even local deliveries can sometimes be slower than normal at the moment. So we expect a strong run up to Christmas (as consumers plan ahead) but a challenging late December, with order 'cut-off' times brought forward."
"Supply chain issues are a growing problem for smaller retailers. While corporate giants like Amazon can be slightly affected by them, and may take a minor profits hit, small businesses can often go under. It's that serious. For us, September and October have been steady but not brilliant because many businesses haven't wanted to commit to pre-ordering for Christmas, as they don't know if we will be in or out of lockdown. Companies don't know if they will be organising Christmas events face-to-face or delivering gift boxes for virtual events. So much uncertainty so you can't blame businesses for not wanting to commit but we get pushed by suppliers to pre-order stock, which makes it tricky. Retail hey? What a rollercoaster."