Consumers will head to garden in 2009 says HTA president

Consumers fed up with the credit crunch will look to escape the news blues in 2009 by heading for the garden, according to the HTA's Andrew Richardson.

HTA president Andrew Richardson said: "On the retail side, consumers will be sick of month after month of bad news and will want to make the most of the garden."

Richardson, also managing director of Johnsons of Whixley, said: "Next year is going to be a year for keeping your head down and getting on with it."

He said Johnsons of Whixley was looking at hard at its cost base, and was running with 15 or 16 fewer staff than last year.

"When people leave we're looking at other ways to do things because we're not sure what's going to happen in the market."

When its purchasing director left to start his own business, for example, the firm used staff within the business with the right skills to take on the job, rather than recruiting someone new.

"On the construction side, things shut early for Christmas and everyone had a good two weeks off because of the state of the market."


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