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Retail Update - July 2016


Posted At: 21 July 2016 16:16 PM
Related Categories: Administrations, Retail Marketing, Retailers


A lot has happened since our last update – 52% of the UK decided we would be better off out of the EU; BHS has started closing stores as no buyer has been found; Taking Shape has shut all UK stores and appointed a liquidator to its UK subsidiary; My Local fell into administration; and, Store Twenty One is looking to close 82 stores having had its CVA approved.

Brexit has certainly ruffled feathers throughout the UK as a whole. GfK ran a one-off Brexit special online with 2002 respondents between 30th June and 5th July 2016, in which GfK’s Consumer Confidence Barometer core Index fell 8 points to -9. All of the key measures used to calculate the Index fell. This long-running survey dates back to 1974, and there has not been a sharper drop than this for 21 years (December 1994). It will be interesting to see how this Index fairs over the coming months as plans start to emerge surrounding the future of the UK and our position in Europe.

In other news, over 30 new towns have applied to Business in the Community’s programme to revitalise high streets, including Falmouth, Falkirk, Barrow-in-Furness, Huddersfield and Maidstone, bringing the total enrolled to 100. The programme, which launched in 2014, aims to increase footfall by 10%, reduce the number of vacant properties by 20% and stimulate the creation of new jobs.

A study of 30,000 consumers by British Land and Verdict has found that 89% of all UK retail sales in 2015 touched a store through physical sales, click & collect or online sales browsed in store. The research found that this boosts physical retail by 5% and further demonstrates how physical and online complement each other, something that we at FSP have always maintained.

Internet sales continue on the upward trajectory, seemingly unfazed by the Brexit decision. Shoppers spent 17% more online in June than they did at the same time last year, and IMRG said that it had so far detected only a short blip after the poll. While smartphone spending soared, growing in June by 69% year-on-year, sales made over tablets grew by just 0.4%.

Finally in environmental news, Oxford Street is set to be pedestrianised by 2020, with all traffic banned as part of mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to tackle air pollution.

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