U.S. Retailers are Slowing Expansion on This Continent

U.S. retailers (NYSEARCA:XRT) are slowing their expansion in the U.K. and the rest of the Continent due to the continuing sovereign debt crisis.

Retailers are painfully aware of U.K. shoppers cutting back on spending due to uncertain employment, wage freezes and government budget cuts. This retail setback, along with unpredictable debt crisis fallout, has cast a pall on U.S. retailers expansion plans across the pond.

“With the economic conditions a lot of retailers are asking themselves whether it’s worthwhile to enter the UK (market) given that it’s very competitive and saturated,” said Robert Gregory, research director of consultancy Planet Retail.

U.S. retailers in rethink mode include Crate & Barrel, Limited Brands (NYSE:LTD), Forever 21, and Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM).

James Ebel, director at retail property consultancy Harper Dennis Hobbs, scoffed at these reports, saying that U.S. retailers having second thoughts were “the exception rather than the norm,” and that, “there hasn’t been a time, within the last 10 years, when U.S. retailers have been so interested in coming to Europe as there is now.”