>>big majority report trade is as good, or better, than this time last year

It is good news for the independent sector, with 80% saying current trade is better or at least at the same level as last year. Only 16% say trade is worse than 12 months ago.
More than a quarter of the independent retailers polled by The Knowledge Store for our monthly barometer also said net profit margins were up on a year ago, while just under a half said they were the same. And more than half of those questioned expect sales to be better over the next three months, with just 14% predicting a tough time in the next quarter.
Current trade and profits are clearly making these independents optimistic. Nearly one third now say they plan to increase investment in their business.
Source: based on research carried out by The Knowledge Store in the week commencing 24/11/03. For more details call 01293 610400