The economic downturn is all around.
Last night at the carol service I heard about a couple neither of whom will have a job in the new year. The husband has lost his car sales job, while the wife is finishing up a 20+ year career in Woolworths.
On a different level, leaving work tonight I heard of another couple, one of who is working Christmas Day and off Boxing day, while his wife is off Christmas Day and working Boxing Day.
Belfast’s most opulent shopping centre, Victoria Square, has already seen one outlet close. Men’s store Hardy Amies closed its five stores across the UK.
Now a second unit will be shutting its doors for the last time. The Pier has gone into administration.
It’ll not take a crystal ball to predict that there will be other units boarded up in 2009. It’s going to be a year when we watch the retail sector shrinking rather than growing.