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SMEs in retail do not expect their performance to be boosted by events in London this summer

Findings from a survey of UK small and medium sized companies have revealed that a significant majority of retail and distribution companies are not expecting events in London this summer to boost their performance in 2012.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

SMEs in retail do not expect their performance to be boosted by events in London this summer

The survey, commissioned by AXA Business Insurance, found that 78% of respondents thought that the expected increase in visitors to London would have no effect whatsoever on their trading. While 14% of respondents went as far as to say that the events would have an adverse effect on trading this year, only 9% were optimistic that there would be a positive impact on their business.

Darrell Sansom, managing director, direct and partnerships at AXA Business Insurance, explained: "Many analysts and trade authorities have forecast that events in London this summer will provide a much needed commercial injection into the UK economy. While it’s true that London-based retailers should be optimistic about the opportunity, the impact is likely to be less positive for those businesses not located in the capital."

Axa said respondents were also very conservative about the potential growth of their business over the next six months, with only 35% expressing a sense of optimism and 7% suggesting that they were planning to take on any new employees this year. A majority of 64% also forecasted making a lower profit this year.

Sansom continued: "Despite the influx of visitors to the UK and general festivities, there is concern among retailers as to whether this will generate the surge in spending that many analysts predicted early on. The fact that so many of our nation’s high streets are peppered with local, non-London based retailers who are not predicted to see much commercial benefit from events in the capital, puts a slight damper on the whole spirit of them."

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