Posted by Amy Thompson 01 May 2013

A Ray of Hope for Retailers?

As news that music retail giant HMV is back out of administration hits the news stands, I can't help but wonder; is this a sign of brighter days to come for the retail industry?

Throughout the past few years we have seen many big names slowly fade from the Nations High Streets, with handfuls of store closures, political talk of a double dip recession and unemployment at an all time high. But could that all be about to change for the better?

After all, George Osbourne announced just last week that we narrowly missed triple dip recession (hoorah!) with a 'better than expected' increase in GDP of 0.3% for the first quarter of the year.

What's more, other areas of the economy are showing promise too, with the BBC reporting this evening that we're "reading more than ever"; news which follows a record year of sales for publishers in 2012, with a rise of 4% in spending across both printed and digital books.

Global air travel is also on the rise, jumping up by 5.9% in March compared with last year thanks to emerging markets.

And back in the retail sector, Home Retail Group have announced that like-for-like sales are on the rise at Argos, with an annual rise of 2.1%, a figure that was described by chief exec Terry Duddy as "a good outcome to what has been a challenging year".

Unfortunately the same can't be said of sister company Homebase, which shows we're not quite out of the woods yet, but we can see glimmers of sunlight poking through the trees.