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Retail Update - August 2016


Posted At: 18 August 2016 13:51 PM
Related Categories: Retail


So despite the widespread panic that ensued directly after Britain voted to leave the EU, it has not been all doom and gloom in the retail world. Shopping centres are still being bought and sold, retailers are still expanding their store presence, and consumers are still spending money, in a sure sign that the world hasn’t just stopped but is continuing as it has always done.

Britain’s managed pub and restaurant groups saw collective like-for-like sales grow 0.3% in July against the same month last year, indicating that the country is not giving up on going out to eat and drink in the wake of the Brexit vote. Figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker show that London operators recorded a healthy 2.9% like-for-like sales uplift against July 2015, while those outside the M25 saw like-for-likes fall 0.5%. 

But it’s not just on leisure that consumers are spending. Online fashion sales jumped 22% in July according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, indicating that spending habits are not being reined in but that consumers are utilising their disposable incomes which are at a record high. As highlighted by the ONS, the median household earned £26,400 after taxes and benefits in the year to 31 March, up £700 on the previous year, and £400 above the previous high of £26,000 in 2007-08. 

International retailers still see the UK as an essential launch pad into Europe and are signing for stores, and there has even been a revival into the use of UK manufacturers. John Lewis is launching a new 'Locally Made' initiative, bringing together locally designed and made products from across the country in a dedicated area in its shops, and Marks & Spencer has become one of the first customers of a new cotton mill in Greater Manchester, which is set to be fully operational from autumn. 

And with new retail and leisure developments being given the green light to proceed, and the initial stages of the Night Tube being launched this week, retail is set to be boosted even further both in the Capital and throughout the UK.

Although Brexit will undoubtedly have an impact in the future, there certainly seems to be no signs of it stopping us yet.

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