Barclays jumps the gun on sunny high street sale stats
Whoops! The British weather and bank holidays are often blamed for economic under- performance, even when it’s not especially bad.
So yesterday when the CBI issued its latest take on the state of distributive trades, a statement from Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays, promptly followed blaming the rain: “The biblical weather has a lot to answer for but, with the Jubilee weekend ahead and a more seasonal weather forecast, we should start to see shoppers stepping back onto the high street.
“That said, considerable headwinds remain therefore, it is likely to be a cautious consumer who emerges”.
Alas, it turns out that this was the reaction Barclays intended to release if the CBI message turned out to be negative. In the event, the CBI news was positive but a hapless Barclays PR had already sent the wrong response.
“It was my mistake,” said the poor press officer yesterday.
The second Barclays response makes no mention of the biblical weather, though it talks about a more “seasonal weather forecast” which has already helped shoppers step back into the high street. Phew!