Business Services has been a major growth engine of the UK economy for many years. Businesses which provide more specialist and higher quality services have generally been most successful, although many companies in the sector have felt pressure on their margins in the face of a more challenging economy in recent times.
Increasing levels of outsourcing have continued to drive the sector – outsourcing having become a key tool in operational as much as cost efficiency. Many parts of the sector remain fragmented, offering opportunities for consolidation.
Retail and consumer services continue to be more challenging given difficult economic conditions and tightness in consumer spending. The high street has been a difficult place to be, as has much of the hospitality and leisure industry. There are winners though, which manage to differentiate themselves and appeal to the right consumer segments.