Christmas sales 'holding up'

21-12-2007

Christmas sales 'holding up'
Christmas shoppers are expected to put in a reasonable performance this Christmas despite the economic slowdown, a shopping centre manager says.

Tom Nathan, manager of Brent Cross shopping centre, said he expected to take £5,000 a minute in the three full remaining shopping days before Christmas.

Retail analysts are on tenterhooks waiting for sales figures for the Christmas period, the most important in shopkeepers' calendars.

There are concerns that struggling consumer confidence caused by the credit crunch, the run on Northern Rock and recent interest rate rises will hinder the spirit of giving this Christmas.

Heavy price discounting has been reportedly driving sales so far this festive season, but the clothing sector appears to be less convincing.

"It is an economic slowdown but I think we must get it in proportion," he told BBC News 24.

"Things are still OK, stores are still selling merchandise, clothing is maybe more difficult, but the gifts and electrical are still phenomenal."

Mr Nathan added: "Most of it is to do with the fact that the weather during October and November has been incredibly unseasonable and that hasn't helped overall.

"During December of course it has become colder and some of the knitwear and coats and stuff are selling a bit, but it may well be too late."

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