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Will the sales save businesses?
 

As 2008 draws to a close most high street shops and many online retailers have started their sales early. Many of the larger stores including Debenhams and M&S launched sales in the run up to Christmas which in years gone by would have been unheard of.

It is during this holiday season that he ghosts of Christmas visit the high street.

The ghost of Christmas past exists to remind many retailers of the happy days. They can look back on many a festive period where shoppers spent money regardless of the cost reassured that their credit cards would take the strain and that their jobs were secure enough to service the debt over the coming months. Whilst this may bring a smile to the face of the company shareholders, many will reflect on whether enough was done during these times to improve customer loyalty and to strengthen the company position.

The ghost of Christmas present now walks through the high street past stores with sales and discounts. There are banners informing the public of store closures and empty shop premises that are nothing but a reminder to the public that times are hard. In an attempt to drive customers through the doors retailers strive to slash their prices and get pennies in the tills.

So what will the ghost of Christmas yet to come reveal? Have the high street stores set a precedent for years to come. Is the future of the high street doomed with more big names suffering the same fate as Woolworths and Adams? Will the public expect nothing less than discounted prices for year upon year of festive spending?

Whilst the future of the high street is not clear, this commentator is sure that their will be more stores that go into administration. How soon the public return to the heavy spending levels of previous years is uncertain. 2009 will be a difficult time for many businesses no matter how big they are. Let us hope that by Christmas 2009 we still have a wide selection of retailers to choose from and that our economy is starting to recover from mistakes made in the past.

Read our Business Blog for regular updates about finance, the economy, news of interest and related stories.

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