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Retail Update - April 2015


Posted At: 24 April 2015 11:00 AM
Related Categories: Administrations, Retail, Retailers


Continuing the trend seen last month there have been no reported administrations on the FSP Retailer Database, signalling improved sentiment in UK shoppers. This is evidenced by GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index being at its highest level for almost 13 years at +4, having recorded a rise of eight points in just three months.

The timing of Easter this year has been credited with improving footfall across retail parks and shopping centres in a month that marked the best overall footfall performance since March 2014. In the same way, managed pub and restaurant groups also reported a much improved performance over the four-day weekend according to the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

Not surprisingly, online sales have also grown with figures in the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index revealing growth of 9% year-on-year in March. This meant that the index recorded only single-digit growth for each month in the first quarter of 2015 which is the first time this has happened in any quarter.

According to a Barclays report, shopping on mobile devices is expected to hit £53.6bn by 2025, up from £9.7bn currently, with mobile to account for 42% of all retail sales. However, only one in five top 250 retailers around the world say they are able to fulfil cross-channel demand profitably, a report by PwC and JDA shows. The biggest challenge is to meet customer expectations, particularly over next-day delivery. The highest costs associated with omnichannel were handling returns from online and store orders (cited by 71% of respondents), shipping directly to the customer (67%) and shipping to the store for customer pick-up (59%). Nevertheless, most planned to invest an average of 29% of their total capital expenditures for 2015 on improving their omnichannel fulfilment performance, as 71% of respondents said omnichannel fulfilment is either a high or top priority for their businesses.

In other news, research by Strutt & Parker has revealed that the amount of committed shopping development in the UK has shot up 60% in the past six months, with a total of 5.1m sq. ft. now under construction. And research from Cushman & Wakefield has shown that Russia has overtaken France as Europe’s largest shopping centre market with total shopping centre stock climbed to more than 17.7 million m2 at the end of last year, overtaking France’s 17.66 million m2 of GLA. The UK followed Russia and France as Europe’s third-largest market with 17.1 million m2.

What remains to be seen is what impact the upcoming general election will have on consumer confidence and the UK economy as a whole, and if this upward trend of increasing positivity continues.

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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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