Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas and New Year

Editor’s Blog Posted 24/12/13
While retailers face a frenzied few weeks to compete with online traders, many in business will bel looking forward to a much-earned break over the festive period.

We’ve had “Black Friday,” “Cyber Monday” and now the latest of the retail fads, “Manic Monday,” which frankly all sound a little too exhausting for me in terms of contemplating any last minute festive shopping.

Many retail analysts have been concerned by the apparent aggressive discounts that many high street traders have resorted to early in December to lure sufficient business.

There’s been a definite sense from some of the larger chain stores in particular, that unless they’re offering big figures off many items, they’ll get left behind against internet competitors, as shoppers aim to drive the best bargains possible.

I can’t help thinking there’s place for both the traditional high street and those gravitating to set up firms on the internet, and I would strongly argue against the Bill Grimsey recent retail report that “the high street is dead.”

The former Iceland boss clearly hadn’t paid a visit to Chichester High Street last week, which was the busiest I had ever seen it as thousands turned out to greet the Coca-Cola truck. While I’m a definite fan of technology in many ways, I can’t help but think there’s nothing quite like having a good old rummage around an actual store to find just the right gift for loved ones at Christmas.

So, I for one hope that the all-singing, all-dancing, technologically-driven world of tablets and mobiles do not completely dominate retail patterns.

It’s clearly been a testing year for many businesses, just as much as it has for those in a great number of other sectors, who have doggedly battled through the worst of the downturn. The past 12 months have certainly proved exceptionally busy on many fronts, with a huge range of major business stories breaking right across Sussex, Surrey and Kent, so I hope that you feel we have done them justice.

From everyone I’ve spoken to since my arrival at the magazine in April, there’s been a definite sense that the end of recession is properly in sight. However, those sentiments have been tempered by a healthy dose of reality in acknowledging that we aren’t quite there yet.

According to the government, we are in for at least a good few more years of austerity measures in order to bring down our huge national debt, but we can put hope that doesn’t stifle the relatively fragile nature of our consumer-led recovery that is now bubbling along with some confidence.

I genuinely hope that you’ve enjoyed our coverage this year on the website since its November launch (please keep the online commenting coming) and our printed editions of South East

Business and trust that you will all have the chance to earn a break and have a great Christmas and New Year.

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