…As retail body says consumer confidence at record low

The British Retail Consortium has called on Alistair Darling to restore consumer confidence and reduce press pressures on retailers, as the Chancellor begins drafting the pre-Budget report.

The British Retail Consortium has called on Alistair Darling (pictured) to restore consumer confidence and reduce press pressures on retailers, as the Chancellor begins drafting the pre-Budget report.

The BRC has set a plan including “six strategies for success” that aim to help both retailers and consumers. It covers employment, business efficiencies, helping to cut basic household bills, and the property market.

Stephen Robertson, BRC director general, says that consumer confidence is currently at record lows, while soaring energy and housing costs are hitting family budgets hard.

He adds: “At this difficult time for retailers and family budgets it’s vital that the Government acts to restore economic stability. The BRC is setting out a coherent plan designed to reduce price pressure and restore consumer confidence.”

Earlier this month, a BRC report said that consumers are cutting “frivolous shopping” off their agenda as retail sales value fell again in July by 0.9% compared with the same period last year (MW.co.uk August 11). The retail trade remained tough in July even with widespread discounting.

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