Blog: Don't green shoot the messenger
Dean Best | 9 June 2009
The phrase “green shoots of recovery” has become something of a cliché here in the UK. Certainly any politician that has used it recently has been shot down quickly by detractors who claim the individual must be wildly out of touch with reality, mad or both.
That said, businessmen, politicians and commentators alike are still desperately searching for any signs the proverbial shoots exist.
On first view, today's figures on retail sales values in May offer little good news on that front.
Facing a strong comparison with figures in the same month last year, UK retail sales values fell in May, despite a boost from warm weather and the bank holidays.
Sales fell 0.8% on a like-for-like basis and rose only 0.8% on a total basis, from May 2008, when sales rose strongly in the sunny weather. Food sales slowed after a strong Easter boost in April.
Usually, we wouldn't take much notice of monthly figures as they can be wildly unrelated to the overall trend. That said there was enough in the figures for Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, of IGD, to offer some optimism, and that, these days, is worth a comment.
“At last, some sources are beginning to report signs of economic stabilisation: the stock market is strengthening, the pound is up and confidence seems to be improving. Even the weather was good in May, especially in the second half,” she said.
Wisely, though, she quickly dampened down any thoughts she may stray into green shoot territories.
“There is a long way to go, however, and the difficult climate is being reflected in shopping choices. IGD research shows that 28% of shoppers have changed their grocery shopping habits and most say they will not change back, regardless of any economic recovery."
Blue Bell Creameries is trying to win back the trust of consumers after a fatal listeriosis outbreak last year was linked to its products - but in recent days the US ice cream maker has issued another...
The UK's competition regulator has given the all-clear to Hain Celestial's bid to buy UK food and beverage group Orchard House Foods, nine months after the US group announced the deal....
Hershey made an unusual announcement today (20 September), sharing its own sales data for the last four weeks to assuage any possible investor concern over figures released by Nielsen....
As the UK starts to ponder what kind of a relationship it wants with the European Union post-Brexit, EU leaders have been lining up to warn that Britain will not be allowed to "cherry pick" deals and ...
- Interview: Mondelez eyes sweet success in China
- The benefits of engaging staff in sustainability
- How food companies involve staff in sustainability
- What next for Bernard Matthews? - comment
- Why Danone is withdrawing Dumex from Vietnam
- Fonterra says value-added strategy paying off
- Ireland unveils national plan to tackle obesity
- B&G Foods acquires ABF's US spice business
- General Mills profit falls as sales disappoint
- Bernard Matthews pensions scheme under review
- Global Chocolate Confectionery Overview: Challenges, Opportunities and Risks
- The Big 15: Strategies and Priorities of Top Packaged Food Players in Comparison
- Global Foodservice Market 2016-2020
- Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review
- Global Food and Drinks Closures: Performance and Opportunities