North east small retailers are England's grumpiest

16 November, 2007

Small retailers in north east England have the most negative outlook in the country, according to new research by training specialist Skillsmart Retail.

The study found

the region has twice as many pessimistic, and half the number of optimistic, small retailers than the national average.

Interviews were carried out with 1,100 managers and owners of retail businesses with four or

fewer outlets and 25 or

fewer employees.

In England's north east region, 30 per cent were judged to be "resigned survivors" - those retailers with the most pessimistic outlook on the future, which is more than twice the national average of 13.8 per cent. It also found that only 14 per cent of retailers in the region were "optimistic succeeders" - those retailers who have a positive, yet cautious, outlook, which is just under half the national average of 27.4 per cent.

Skillsmart research manager Ian Wheeler said the findings were a reflection of modest retail growth in the north east. Positive retailers create vibrant shopping centres and attract more customers, he added.

Retailers react - Vox Shop, page 3

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