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Retail Update - February 2017


Posted At: 22 February 2017 14:42 PM
Related Categories: General, Retail


January certainly proved to be a mixed month to mark the start of 2017, with a mixed bag of Christmas sales being reported across the board, and both retail sales and footfall dipping, even online sales faltered this month. Although not surprising, with Christmas being the monthly comparative, it is perhaps a sign that consumers are now starting to worry about what this year may bring; Brexit, business rate fears, price rises etc.

All is not doom and gloom however, with confidence increasing from -8 to -5 percentage points between Q3 and Q4 2016 among the 18 to 34-year-old age group resulting in them spending more money in bars and restaurants according to Deloitte.

The Leisure Consumer Q4 2016 update confirms earlier research from Deloitte which found that confidence about disposable income, debt and job security among millennials is now at a six-year high.

However, when looking forward to the first quarter of 2017, the research found that this age group is expected to spend less on eating and drinking, and more on holidays and gum activities than they did in Q4 2016. It will be interesting to see if this is the case, or if the increasing trend of eating and drinking out continues.

The start of the year also saw the price of an average basket of grocery items fall by 3% compared to January 2016. According to mySupermarket’s monthly Groceries Tracker, the price of a basket of 35 popular items came to £82.27 compared to £83.33 for December. This can only be good news for shoppers when price rises are imminent elsewhere.

With sales via smartphones set to more than treble in value from £13.5bn to £43bn over the next four years according to research by Google, PayPal UK and OC&C, and its increasing impact on people’s lives, a study by Apadmi has found that nearly 30% of consumers would like to see more innovation in mobile apps to enable the technology to provide a more personalised shopping experience. The study found that shoppers would be more likely to download a retail app if it featured technology that helped them to make a buying decision, or let them preview products before purchasing them, something for retailers to consider going forwards into an increasingly digital market.

SnapShop itself has only recorded one administration this month, that of Moda in Pelle, which was subsequently rescued by its founder through a pre-pack deal. Looking ahead, a number of new retailers are looking to enter the UK market this year, including H&M’s Weekday fascia, Polish retailer Reserved, and Swiss phone repairer iKlinik.

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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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