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Christmas Sales Report - Release 2


Posted At: 15 January 2013 17:26 PM
Related Categories: Christmas


Christmas Sales Report - Release 2
15th January 2013

The chart above bears out our thoughts in our first Christmas Sales report last week; it is not all doom and gloom. In the most part the picture is as good as, if not better than, the last couple of years, and in all cases, except Personal Goods (where no trading figures are available yet), the like-for-like sales changes per category are all positive.

Although we are now reporting a couple of administrations, it is not the case that the initial picture was unrealistically rosy as neither were a great surprise. Both Jessops and HMV have struggled with debt and were recognised by FSP as being financially risky. They were also in the unfortunate position where technology has surpassed them. In our first report, we championed the survival of the fittest, but fitness is irrelevant when your product starts to appear irrelevant or superseded.

Jessops may be completely dead and gone, but HMV may yet be rescued.

From our All Retailers chart you will see that online dominates the Total Sales gains, providing 7 out of the top 8 increases. As we said last week, the technologically advanced retailers are winning and keeping customers; particularly where the online function is an integrated part of the whole. It will therefore be a shame if, with its venture into an Amazon style marketplace and the launch of MyHMV, the UK High Street loses HMV altogether.

For the full Christmas Sales Report - Release 2, Click Here.

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Christmas Sales Report - January 2013


Posted At: 08 January 2013 11:00 AM
Related Categories: Christmas


Christmas Sales Report - January 2013


At FSP, we doubted the doomsayers with their prophecies of more failures this Christmas. With the still floundering economic situation and the generally held opinion that the internet will be the death of retail, they may have had a point. Except this discounted the Darwinian theory of Survival of the Fittest.

The lean years since the retail meltdown in 2008/09 have challenged retailers to innovate and improve, then win and subsequently keep, our custom.

Not surprisingly, the technologically advanced retailers are doing this very well. John Lewis have Click & Collect nailed and whilst this is evident in the increase in their online sales, it is also impacting positively on the group as a whole, with very healthy like-for-like sales over Christmas. Where stores support the online process, ensuring the visit and the attendant customer service is a positive experience will be key not only for the retailers but also for the location. Working to ensure the sum of parts is greater than the whole is essential for shopping centres and more importantly town centres.

Rather more of a surprise is the result from the department stores as a whole. Not so long ago many were sounding the death knell, with these stores seen as the dinosaurs of retail. However John Lewis is not the only winner this Christmas, with House of Fraser and Debenhams posting good positive like-for-likes. The message here is to find your position and stick to it: Debenhams has its strong own brand via designer collaboration; House of Fraser has its house of brands; whilst John Lewis is updating for middle England and at the forefront of integrated online service.

Undoubtedly as more results are published, we will see the strength of those who already recognise that bricks & mortar are as much a support for the online process as profit centres in their own right. FSP will keep you posted with these results with regular updates to this Christmas Sales Report throughout January.

With kind regards

Jo Hewson
Managing Director, FSP


To read the full Christmas Sales Report - January 2013, click here.

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Christmas Sales Commentary


Posted At: 24 January 2012 14:56 PM
Related Categories: Christmas, E-tailing, Retailers


Like for like Christmas sales

The retail story of 2011/12 Christmas is less about sales and more about survival. Sales generally were better than in snow-struck ’10/11 but the number of retailers going into administration has been the highest since the ‘08/09 crisis. Few of the failures have been a surprise and sadly there is still a queue of struggling retailers.

The hard work and ingenuity of retailers maintained sales over Christmas but at the cost, at least in some cases, of squeezed margins. Financing the investment in the new technology that is driving market development and growth is challenging for all retailers, but especially for those struggling to service their existing debt. The threat of pure on-line to physical retailing is turning out to be less than envisaged a few years ago. On the other hand, the importance of all retailers having an effective on-line offering becomes ever more apparent.

Meanwhile, the knock-on effect on retail locations is still unclear. Retailing will continue to thrive beyond the 30 to 50 UK locations of interest to global retailers but its format and nature are not yet clear. That ultimately will be driven by the nature and scale of local demand. The challenge for asset managers is to be able to identify which of their occupiers is at risk, either corporately or because the rent to turnover ratio is unsustainable. Knowledge is indeed power and using that power effectively will mark out the best managers.

To access fully analysed Profit and Loss information including Financial Health indicators, along with downloadable officially filed company accounts and for regular updates on weekly, monthly, quarterly, half yearly and full year results, including total and like for like £ and % sales results, please subscribe to SnapShop


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Simply having a coaxing Christmas time


Posted At: 01 December 2011 15:23 PM
Related Categories: Christmas, Retail, Retail Property, Social Commentary


Ok so it’s been a bit quiet on the blogging front recently – probably a reflection of the amount of time the team here have (not a lot) to be pondering but I couldn’t help but notice how hard shopping centres are trying to increase their footfall.

Moving on from the traditional Lights switch on, Retailer Discount days, Santa’s Grotto choirs and brass bands, here are a few of this year’s new inspiring events:

  • The Oracle in Reading is hosting a Boden pop-up shop until Christmas Eve and for the customers who spend £15 or more inside the centre a free gift wrapping service is available.
  • The Red Bull Formula One team will be attending an event at Midsummer Place in Milton Keynes
  • Life size snow globes at Silverburn
  • One New Change in London is hosting a Dickensian story teller from the Museum of London
  • David Hasslehoff (AKA The Hoff) visiting Cabot Circus, plus there will be an Ice Rink in situ until early January.
  • Real life reindeer in Glasgow’s Princes Square
  • Charity Santa run at White Rose Leeds

It’s enough to put even the coldest of Scrooges in a festive mood (yes I sit with a few, so I should know).

So if retail information is your pressie of choice this month, FSP can be your department store – let us know what you are after and we can supply it.

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