Discuss the Impact of Recent Changes in the Uk Economic Environment on Uk Retailers and Manufacturers

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The Guardian story takes the profound view that a consumer revolution is changing the way we shop. The recent poor Tesco results might be a sign that we are even turning our backs on supermarket queues, spelling the end for the weekly shop, with more buying food daily from convenience stores, and consumers turning to the internet. Major retailers are already adapting for example Tesco’s chief executive has admitted that the power of out-of-town hypermarkets is waning, and the internet is now dictating strategies. Online spend in the UK in 2011 grew 16% growth on 2010. “Click and collect” is up, as is “mobile shopping”, with around 15% of Google search queries now go through mobile devices. John Lewis is said to be “really going after the mobile online sale” by inviting customers to do an in-store price match. Some industry-watchers predict more “dark stores” which are supermarkets where the public are banned, as staff fill trolleys for thousands of online orders. Retailers will be forced to compete heavily on delivery prices. “The home delivery market has been growing at double digits. It’s going to continue growing for the foreseeable future,” says one analyst. “Out-of-town hypermarkets are having less impact because people are buying online, and then they are topping up in convenience stores,” says another. The Economist takes another perspective, reporting on the fact that almost 15,000 shops in town centers’ closed between 2000 and 2009, with a further 10,000 losses in the past couple of years - leading to the proportion of retail spending captured by town centers’ falling from 49.4% to 42.5% since 2000. Their argument: there is just too much capacity in the high street. Curiously, though, Britons claim to treasure their town-centre shops. But suburban supermarkets are certainly strong competition. Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose now allocate more than one third of floor space to things other than food. Sainsbury’s is the seventh-largest clothing...
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