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Strong getting even stronger

Regardless of whether or not we are seeing the green shoots of recovery or any other signs of the market returning to less straitened times it probably won’t make that much difference to the broad strategies of the UK’s strongest businesses. By Glynn Davis, City editor

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Strong getting even stronger

Regardless of whether or not we are seeing the green shoots of recovery or any other signs of the market returning to less straitened times it probably won’t make that much difference to the broad strategies of the UK’s strongest businesses. By Glynn Davis, City editor

They will likely continue to pursue the same path that they put in place to cope with the recession, which will involve taking advantage of the opportunities that the tough market is
throwing up.

Despite the concerns over slowing growth in the UK the mighty Tesco remains firmly in the 'strong business' camp and its activities in the US with its Fresh & Easy chain show how it is taking advantage of cheap property prices to add to its property estate in California.

The news from the US is that it is favouring buying sites rather than taking on leases as commercial property prices are proving particularly attractive. Tesco has also continued to work on its new distribution depot that will be used to service its northern California stores when it presses the 'go' button on the region.

Another UK-based operator, Pret A Manger, is also ramping up expansion in the US despite the tough global markets. The sandwich seller has pointed to the US as a key driver of growth and is intent on having 26 stores open in the key cities of New York and Washington DC by the end of the year. It is also looking at opening up its first outlets in Chicago too.

There are many other such stories of bold moves that have countered the overwhelming bleakness of the recession and it is such actions that are laying the foundations for strong outperformance by companies once we see some real green shoots of recovery.

glynnd@theretailbulletin.com

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