2012 Christmas trading overview
Retail sales values rise 1.5% in November
The value of retail sales jumped 1.5% year-on-year in November with sales volumes growing by 0.9%, according to theOffice for National Statistics. The ONS found that prices of goods sold increased by 0.5% year-on-year, driven by food priceinflation. Data from the CBI Distributive Trades Survey supports this with almost half of retailers reporting an increase intheir volume of sales against the same period last year, while just +16% reported a sales decline ahead of expectations.Online sales jumped 18% year-on-year to £8.4bn in November, according to online trade body IMRG. The Capgemini e-Re
tail Sales Index showed sales soared 25% on October’s figures as monthly sales topped the £8bn mark for the first time.
Sectors traditionally associated with Christmas experienced the greatest uplift, with health and beauty recording an 82%leap from October whilst gift sales rose 132% month-on-month and 38% year-on-year, the highest jump in almost fiveyears.
“Online sales were also boosted as a result of temperatures dropping across much of Britain in November, with many
people preferring to shop online
as they updated their winter wardrobes,” the survey found.
Christmas retail like-for-likes edge up 0.3%
Retailers are preparing for a flat trading year after like-for-like sales edged up just 0.3% in the critical December tradingperiod, against a 2.2% increase in the same month the previous year. Total sales for last month jumped 1.5% againstDecember 2011, when they advanced 4.1%, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.BRC director-general Helen Dickinson describes how footfall
was “disappointingly low” in December this year as rain kept
shoppers off the high street and the lure of convenience led people to spend online.For the week beginning December 3rd, footfall in shopping centres slumped 4.9%, while shopper numbers across highstreets and out-of-town locations fell 0.8% and 0.4% respectively. Again, shopper
numbers “fell sharply” in week
beginningDecember 10th as footfall dropped 2.6%. Footfall in shopping centres reported the biggest decline, plunging 4.3%,according to the BRC-Springboard Footfall Monitor while out-town was down 2.1% and high streets fell 2%.
Debenhams posts best ever December sales
Debenhams has posted its highest ever December like-for-like sales, up 5% in the five weeks to January 5. The departmentstore retailer said with Christmas Day falling on a Tuesday, it expected shoppers to buy later in the season, which is why itrecorded its highest ever December sales. In the 18 weeks to January 5 like-for-like sales advanced 2.9% and online salesrocketed 39%, trading ahead of expectations. Online took a bigger proportion of total sales this year, accounting for 12.6%of total sales against 9.3% in the previous year.
House of Fraser has "best ever" Christmas as like-for-likes jump 6.3%
Department store House of Fraser said last Christmas was its “best ever” as like
-for-likes jumped 6.3% in the six weeks toJanuary 5. The retailer said it had record sales in the fortnight before Christmas and it achieved sales growth in allcategories, w
ith a “particularly strong” performance in fashion and beauty.
House of Fraser’s online business thrived
during the period, with sales up 48% over the six week period.
John Lewis feels festive cheer as Christmas like-for-likes soar 13%
Department store John Lewis has emerged as one of the big winners of the festive period with like-for-likes soaring 13% inthe five weeks to December 29. Total sales jumped 14.8% to £684.8m over the period. Sales rocketed 25.5% comparedwith the Christmas period two years ago and like-for-likes leaped 20.1%. Electricals and home technology was the starperformer with sales climbing 30.9% year-on-year, while fashion, including beauty, was up 10.4% and home sales increased6.2%. Sales ordered online surged 44.3% against las
t year’s total. The channel now accounts for a quarter of John Lewis’
QD Stores posts 8% like-for-like Christmas jump
QD Stores delivered sales up 8% across the Christmas trading period. The value retailer, which operates 38 stores,increased the number of exclusive brands and promotions in store. It recorded a strong like-for-like sales jump across toys,which were up 33% in December. Meanwhile, grocery like-for-likes increased 26% and menswear surged 21%. Householdcleaning and toiletries posted the strongest sales increase up 44%. QD will also launch a transactional website this year.Originally planned for launch before Christmas, the website has been delayed.