Many chairmen of the UK’s leading retailers are expressing optimism about the future growth of their companies, but are increasingly frustrated with the UK Government’s handling of the broader economy, according to Retail: An Economic National Treasure, a study published by Korn/Ferry with the British Retail Consortium.

In this third annual survey of 34 chairmen of Britain’s leading retail companies, there was a clear improvement in sentiment:
• In the 2012 survey, 75% were pessimistic or very pessimistic about the outlook for the economy in the coming 12 months. This year that number has shrunk to 50%.
• Last year not one chairman looked forward to the coming year with any optimism; this year 15% said that they were optimistic about future growth.
• Despite the brutally competitive retail environment, the chairmen maintained high levels of confidence in their own companies: 72% believe their company will beat the market in 2013.
• Nearly half expect to invest more in the coming 12 months than they did in the previous year.
• Confidence in the UK Government has waned significantly, however. Last year, four out of five chairmen believed the Government was doing well or reasonably well; under a third of chairmen felt that way this year.

The survey was led by Korn/Ferry’s London Retail practice: Sally Elliott, Senior Client Partner and Ben Twynam, Principal.

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