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Retail Update - July 2014


Posted At: 24 July 2014 16:41 PM
Related Categories: Administrations, Retail, Retailers


Since our last update, another two retailers have succumbed to administration, and not for the first time:

- Jane Norman fell into administration for the second time in three years at the end of June. Owner Edinburgh Woollen Mill said Jane Norman would continue to operate through its website and internal concessions. 
- La Senza fell into administration for the second time in two years having experienced difficult trading conditions. The North American operations and throughout the rest of the world remain unaffected by the actions taken in the UK. 

What is interesting about the woes of these two retailers is that they were both acquired by their current owners by way of pre-pack administrations – a process that only last month underwent an independent review by Teresa Graham CBE which considered the full economic impact of the process and made six recommendations for reform by the insolvency industry. It will be interesting to see the fate of other retailers acquired in this manner over the coming months/years, and the effect this review of the process has on the industry.
July has seen three new retailers sign for their first stores in the UK – US luxury home furnishings retailer Holly Hunt, American pizza chain Project Pie and Spanish tapas operator Mas Q Menos.

GfK’s UK Consumer Confidence Index has moved into positive territory for he first time since March 2005. This mood is supported by Deloitte’s Consumer Tracker, which reveals that overall confidence was four points higher in the second quarter than the same period last year, with the North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland recording a sharp rise of six percentage points from -25% in the first quarter to -19% in the second quarter of 2014. 

New footfall figures from the British Retail Consortium reveal growing evidence of consumers changing the way they shop, as more people visited out-of-town destinations and fewer visited the high street or shopping centres in June. 

Some interesting points have been raised over the past month in the retail industry that back-up the changing face of the UK high street, and include:

- The Key Note Report that estimates the UK sandwich and coffee shop market has grown by 34.9% in value from 2009 to 2013 as more consumers choose to ‘catch up’ over coffee rather than at the pub. 

- The Pop-Up UK Study from the Centre for Economics and Business Research and EE has found that pop-up retail shops contribute £2.1bn a year to the UK economy, and currently make up 0.6% of total UK retail turnover. The sector is forecast to grow by 8.4% over the next year. 

On a slightly separate note, but still talking about the future of the high street, Mayor of London Boris Johnston has announced a major new action plan – Action for High Streets – designed to boost London’s high streets. The plan includes up to £9m of funding being made available from the autumn. 

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