Independent retailers could be set for the “best year” yet in 2012, with sales predicted to rise by as much as 25%.
Wholesaling giant Bestway said there were so many opportunities and special events taking place next year, such as the Diamond Jubilee, the European Football Championships and the Olympics and Paralympics, that indies were ideally placed to capitalise.
“I can’t remember the last time we had so much new business opportunity in such a short space of time,” said James Hall, controller for Bestway’s symbol fascia Best-one. “If retailers really go for it in the right way, they will have one of their best years.”
Extra turnover and income was “there for the taking”, Hall added. “I would expect retailers to be able to increase their income by at least 25%,” he said. “I have a feeling that consumers will have had enough of the tough times and want to get out and enjoy some of the good things these events have the potential to create.”
He also tipped the olympic torch relay, which starts on 19 May and lasts for 70 days, to bring in big business for indies because the torch was due to visit every part of the UK. Bestone, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2012, is planning to provide its members with advice on how to plan events for their local communities in the new year.
“Stocking the right products that shoppers will need for celebrations, whether they are holding street parties or just family events built around celebrating will be the secret of success,” he added. “There will also be big opportunities with passing trade for the independents and our members that have shops near to the many Olympic venues, especially in East London.”
Bestway also followed Booker in predicting indies would benefit from the tobacco display ban, which is due to come into force in the multiples in April. Last month, Booker forecast the tobacco display ban could generate £1bn in extra trade for the independent sector.