The shape of the retail landscape will undergo further upheaval before the current downturn is over.
That is the view of consumers surveyed as part of Datamonitor’s Recession and Recovery research programme, which provides a view on the effects of the economic downturn on consumers and business across 19 countries.
Results from the survey, conducted in May amongst 1,200 respondents in the UK, Australia, Canada and the US, reveal that 78% think that “lots more shops will close down”. British shoppers were the most pessimistic, with 89% of respondents mostly agreeing with the statement.
Datamonitor’s global director of consulting for consumer markets, Neil Hendry, said: “The most worrying thing from an overall economic perspective is that consumers are pessimistic about the retail sector – indicating they are also pessimistic about their own ability to spend.
“This means any consumer-led economic recovery is going to be some way off, particularly as unemployment rates look set to continue to rise significantly over the next 18 months.
“As such the outlook for commercial and retail property will remain very weak, particularly with regards to portfolios that are not well served by public transport, and will ensure that default rates amongst the major banking groups exposed to commercial property will potentially also increase – placing even greater pressure on fragile lending markets.”