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Retail Update - March 2018


Posted At: 23 March 2018 16:00 PM
Related Categories: General, Retail, Retail Statistics


2018 is proving to be a difficult year so far for retail, with not much improvement on the gloomy landscape since our last update and high-profile administrations including Toys R Us, Maplin and Countrywide Stores, and a number of CVAs also approved. The news that over a quarter of the UK’s largest retailers are loss-making does not paint a rosy future.

However, there is some good or interesting news if you look hard enough for it.

• Retail sales showed surprising growth according to the ONS, with retail sales volumes up 1.5%, ahead of predictions
• UK inflation fell to 2.7% in February with a slow-down in food and transport price increases named as the largest downward contributors
• More retailers are jumping on the bandwagon of ‘try-before-you-buy’ for online shoppers
• IGD forecasts that the European grocery retail market is set to achieve sales of €2,289bn by 2022, driven by growth in central and eastern Europe
• Instagram has unveiled its much-anticipated shopping update, allowing UK businesses to sell products via posts
• Research has revealed that consumers are willing to pay up to £1.25 more for a burger if it comes in a gourmet bun, a study by Lantmannen Unibake showed
• The restaurant and bar scenes in Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds are growing at double the rate of that in London
• Pubs continued to prove resilient to industry pressures in February achieving a 1.3% increase in like-for-like sales compared to a 1.5% decline seen in restaurants. However, the Coffer Peach Business Tracker has shown that people continued to dine out in February despite the cold weather and negative media coverage around high-profile casual dining brands closing sites
• Data from online retailer OnBuy shows the North West, West Midlands and Scotland had the highest rate of independent store openings in the UK in 2017 – with 230, 194 and 114 independent openings respectively
• Chinese tourist spend on shopping in the UK has risen by almost a third. Figures from the UK China Visitor Alliance show numbers of Chinese visitors to the UK soared by over 150% in the five years since 2012, from 211,000 visitors to 532,000 in 2017

And finally, a new study has found that Brits have collectively blown £4.46bn on spontaneous purchases while under the influence of alcohol, with almost half of British adults – 45.8% or around 15 million people – confessing to making a purchase while under the influence. Finder’s new report, which surveyed 2000 adults, also revealed that the average spontaneous spend while drunk shopping was a whopping £291.07 each!

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