Like many Headhunters I can be a grumpy old “so and so” at times. I have self diagnosed myself as a sufferer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) Syndrome and regularly blame a lack of sun and blue sky for my moods!
I have always put this down to a legacy of being spoilt in my youth (when I spent five winters skiing under gloriously sunny winter skies!). However, my moods pale when compared to the frustrations many of my clients in the retail sector experience through the vagaries of the British weather.
So hallelujah for the fantastic summer we have just experienced! Spirits and confidence across most of our retail clients now seem firmly on the up; so does this mean having survived the recession retail is about to get a whole lot easier?!
Well, it’s wonderful there is some good news flying around, however let’s not get too carried away. Inflation remains far higher than average wage rises, so consequently disposable incomes are still being consistently squeezed. Unless credit becomes easy again its clear retailers will have to continue to fight for every pound.
So whilst the weather has indeed improved the mood of retailers (and a grumpy Headhunter!) now is not the time to sit back and think “I survived!”, now is the time to keep the foot on the pedal, recognise the realities of the customer and keep trading hard.
Paul Williams is a Consultant in the Retail Practice.