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Retail Update - August 2018


Posted At: 17 August 2018 00:44 AM
Related Categories: General, Retail, Retailers


Continuing the pattern of the year, the retail world is still a bit gloomy.

The high street continues to suffer retail losses, as Poundworld closed the last of its stores following administration, and both Henri Lloyd and House of Fraser were rescued in pre-pack administration deals. The eating-out sector hasn’t escaped the dismal picture, as Gaucho Group appointed administrators to its loss-making CAU steakhouse chain, Villandry closed both outlets on the back of soaring rents and Aulds bakery shut up shop in its retail operations to focus on wholesale-only.

However, the prolonged heatwave the UK has been experiencing has had a positive effect in some areas of retail, and there is some better news out there;

• UK consumer spending rose 5% year-on-year in July, boosted by the largest increase in women’s clothing sales since January 2016 amid unusually warm temperatures, according to Barclaycard. The July rise marks the third consecutive month of growth above 5% and the strongest three-month period since it began measuring this data in 2014

• A survey of 1,249 British adults by Kantar TNS has found 16-24 year olds visit department stores more often than older people, despite an overall preference for shopping online - 41% prefer shopping for high street items online, compared to 36% in department stores, and 23% in standalone outlets. Despite this, the majority (82%) of 16-24 year olds have visited a department store in the past six months, the highest of any age category. And 62% believe department stores have a future on the high street

• Over half (55%) of UK consumers now shop more online than in-store compared to last year. Customers now shop online on average six times per month, with Generation Y saying that they buy on a retailers’ websites eight times per month and 27% of men and 25% of women report making an online shopping trip once a week, says eCommerce search and navigation specialists EmpathyBroker that examined current consumers shopping behaviour

• Royal Mail has announced plans to enhance its online shopping delivery experience to include email and SMS notifications after research found that almost two-thirds of customers said it was important to receive updates on the progress of items throughout the delivery journey

• The future of the high street will see retailers become “brand ambassadors” that use emotional intelligence and experiences to connect with consumers, a new study backed by the owners of Centre:MK has found. Hermes Investment Management and AustralianSuper said that by the middle of the next decade shopping centres will be redesigned as providers of “novel and inspiring experiences” rather than simply places to purchase items

• Plastic bag sales in England's supermarkets have dropped by 86% since the government introduced a 5p plastic bag charge in 2015. New figures show that shoppers in England's seven biggest supermarkets bought nearly a quarter fewer plastic bags last year compared to 2016/17 - a decrease of nearly 300 million bags

• New research from Visa has found late-night shopping events are the most popular high street initiative amongst shoppers. Family and community-focused events and seasonal parties such as switching on Christmas lights came in second and third place. Free parking days, farmers markets and food festivals also made it into the top ten, suggesting there is still consumer enthusiasm to interact with their bricks and mortar high street retailers

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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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