Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 is here.....Happy New Year Web-people

What will 2009 bring? No doubt the Irish media will continue it's recession news-fest. Is it just me or do RTE seem to present news of the widening financial crisis with glee? They are very sensitive when it comes to job losses up to a point - who wants to be interviewed on national TV just seconds after your job has been taken away?

What will 2009 mean for retail? I suspect quite a few ambitious retail projects will be forced to close down - even in a strong economic climate I think that too many retail outlets opened up, particularly in the home/DIY segment, where Limerick has been very well served - but are there enough shoppers to sustain all of them?

The main challenges facing us in 2009, I think are, in order of most obvious:

  • Reduced house purchases
  • Reduced investment into new business
  • Reduced construction in all sectors
  • More and more businesses folding
Main Drivers for these factors are:

  • Reduced confidence
  • Mass Emigration (Irish people and Migrant labourers) - reducing demand for housing, retail and entertainment
Worst Case scenario for year-end 2009:
  • 20% unemployment
  • 20% drop in population
  • 1980's style dole-que's, etc
Unless we start spending again, en masse and businesses have to pay their bills on time - this is causing massive cash-flow strains for a lot of businesses in Ireland. And it's a knock-on effect that is becoming harder and harder to tolerate for many. I think January and February will set the tone for the year, so hopefully we won't have to wait too long. There is still a lot of money out there - just how will it be invested?

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