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Is the UK turning a corner in its recovery?


Posted At: 26 July 2013 10:51 AM
Related Categories: Retail, Retailers


If the positive news in the press this week is anything to go by, then yes! Whether driven by the belated arrival of sunshine and warm weather or the equally anticipated royal birth, early signs of a recovery are emerging. The SnapShop Blog now shuns the negative outlook that has been so widely reported and strikes a blow for positivity with a summary of the good news for the retail sector and the UK economy.

• British Land, one of the UK’s largest property companies, has reported that the number of retail units in administration in its portfolio has almost halved, from 0.9% to 0.5%, as a proportion of the group’s total rent. It also said demand levels for space at its schemes were encouraging.

• The BRC-Bond Dickinson Retail Employment Monitor has revealed that retail employment levels grew 3.7% in the second quarter of 2013 against the same period in 2012, delivering the best result in job creation terms since 2009, and representing the sixth quarter of job growth.

• The UK remains Europe’s largest retail investment market with a 32% market share. According to Cushman & Wakefield, volumes have risen 14% since Q1, but by a staggering 94% over the first six months of 2013 in comparison with 2012

• Official ONS figures show that the economic recovery gained traction over Q2 to the end of June with GDP growth of 0.6% - twice that seen in Q1 – leading to hopes of a sustained revival in the UK economy.

Additionally, the good weather in the second quarter of 2013 has led to a number of retailers reporting positive sales growth these include:

Kingfisher reporting a 2.5% jump in quarterly sales to July 13, with B&Q reporting sales of seasonal and outdoor products up by a fifth – that’s nearly 40% of sales!

Wickes has also benefited from better weather in its second half, reporting a 7.3% jump in profits. The last eight weeks of the period alone accounted for an 8.6% surge in sales.

Fat Face is trading strongly in the start of its new financial year, helped by the summer sun boosting demand for dresses, shorts and t-shirts.

Wetherspoon’s has benefited from the warmer weather driving people into its pubs, posting a 6.2% rise in sales for the 11 weeks to 14 July.

Whatever the reasons are behind the positivity being reported this week, it’s nice to see some optimism finally appearing. You can keep up-to-date with all the news – hopefully more positive than negative – here on SnapShop.

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The opinions expressed herein are the personal opinion of the author and are not intended as statements of fact and do not represent the view of SnapShop or Pragma in any way.


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