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Retail Update - October 2018


Posted At: 22 October 2018 14:21 PM
Related Categories: Retailer At Risk, Store Closures


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

The high street continues to suffer retail losses; both Orla Kiely and Aspire Style closed their stores and website and Mountain Warehouse took the decision to close its Zakti standalone store format, choosing to rebrand them as it reshuffles its estate. The last week alone has seen Coast fall into administration with the closure of 24 stores and the rest of the business being acquired by Karen Millen. American Golf also entered administration but was immediately bought by private equity investor Endless. Many other retailers teeter on the edge, not helped by a 2.4% increase in inflation which will add an additional £186.45m to retailer’s business rates bill next April.

However, as autumn sets in, there is some better news to be had;

  • Social media platform Pinterest has introduced new shopping pins linking directly to product pages on retailer’s sites. Testing has already shown a 40% monthly increase in clicks to retailers

  • London’s Bond Street has just completed a £60m makeover ahead of the Elizabeth Line opening. The transformation includes a £10m investment into a new streetscape for the area, together with a further £50m being invested into ten new store openings

  • Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush has been dubbed the UK’s best-performing shopping centre in a new report by GlobalData, scoring 4.09 out of five, with Westfield Stratford City coming in second place at 3.98 out of five

  • Westminster City Council has unveiled fresh plans to future-proof the Oxford Circus area. The council plans to set aside £150m for the new Place Strategy and Delivery Plan, which aims to provide major improvements across the shopping district, including Oxford Circus, Marble Arch and Cavendish Square

  • The Coffer Peach Tracker reveals that managed pub sales continued to outshine restaurants after a bumper summer for drinks-based operations. Pub like-for-like sales picked with 1.9% growth in September as wet offerings continued from the momentum of the summer’s heatwave

  • Research by Savills has found that the number of international retail and leisure brands opening their debut UK outposts in London is increasing. To date, 36 new entrants have launched in London since 2018 began, exceeding the full-year total of 32 in 2017. The 2018 total could tally around 45, potentially heralding a 40% increase year-on-year and bringing it closer to the 2016 peak of 53

And finally, new research has shown that contactless payments in UK shops are now more popular than chip and Pin card payments. Payments technology company Worldpay said it was the first time it has seen “tap and go” contactless payments overtake Chip and Pin. The switch-over happened in June, when 51% of in-store card transactions in that month were contactless.

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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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