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The impact of the recession on retail sales volumes

Mavis Anagboso and Craig McLaren
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Mavis Anagboso: Office for National Statistics
Craig McLaren: Office for National Statistics

Economic & Labour Market Review, 2009, vol. 3, issue 8, 22-28

Abstract: This is the second of two articles on retailing activity in the current economic downturn. This article considers how the changing structure of the economy over the last decade has impacted on retail sales volumes. It compares the pattern of retail sales in the current recession to that observed in the recession of the 1990s. Notably, it examines why non-food stores appear to have (so far) performed better than food stores in the current recession.It concludes that the observed growth in retail sales has been supported by falling retail prices and a flexible labour market that has limited the effect of unemployment on household consumption. It also identifies two factors that explain why non-food stores have performed more strongly than food stores in the recession: the changing structure of UK store types and relative price changes. Economic & Labour Market Review (2009) 3, 22–28; doi:10.1057/elmr.2009.140

Date: 2009
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