Given that the general impression given of the British retail sector in particular post- christmas was one of doom and gloom, with several major chains facing well-documented problems, closer inspection revealed some interesting upward trends in the midst of the figures. And technology, not for the first time, was adding some of the fuel.
Appreciating that there were many contributory factors, the numbers for high- street electrical giant Currys were surprisingly impressive. In line with similar chains in other countries, Currys has spent money making its stores bigger, consolidating its brands under one (very big) roof. I went in one just before Christmas and, truthfully, couldn’t leave fast enough. The PC World segment of the business seems to exist to try to sell us copies of Windows 8 (which I suspect will continue to cause Microsoft as many problems as it resolves), and listening to a salesperson try and sell anti-virus software to someone buying a tablet computer called for rarely seen levels of restraint. The methodology of old remains the same, it seems, even if the products themselves gradually changed.