HIGH STREET INSIGHT UPDATE APRIL 2013
Improvement on high streets boosts shopper numbers
Footfall in February was 0.8% higher than a year ago, an improvement on the 4.6% decline in January. These figuressupport the recent uplift in retail sales reported by the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, where total sales growth reached athree year high. Footfall improved on high streets with a 2.7% increase compared with a year earlier, the strongest growthsince December 2011. Footfall in shopping centres (-1.6%) and out-of-town (-1.5%) locations fell; however, this is asignificant improvement on January's figures. Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: "This is arespectable result, which tallies with the signs of gradual improvement shown
in our February sales figures.” “
Comparedagainst the widespread regional variations seen in January, it's really encouraging to see improvements in footfall acrossthe board. However, the link between the number of shops and shoppers is plain to see; the lowest footfall was in theNorth and Yorkshire, which has
England's highest vacancy rate.”
Jessops reopens six stores under new owner Peter Jones of
Argos like-for-likes rise 5.2% as tablets drive sales
Argos like-for-like sales jumped 5.2% in the eight weeks to March 2, driven by an increased demand in white goods andcore electricals, offsetting weaker trading in homewares. Total sales at Argos increased 4.3% to £501m. Two stores closedin the period, reducing the store portfolio to 737. Total internet sale
s were up and now account for 43% of Argos’ total
sales, up from 40% a year ago. Mobile sales soared 117%.At Argos
stablemate Homebase, like-for-likes fell 1.5% while total sales declined 2.8% to £191m. One store closed in theperiod taking the DIY retai
ler’s store count to 336.
Discount retailer, B&M Bargains, has released double-digit growth in both sales and profits for 2012
B&M Bargains posted an increase of 31.5% to £937.2m in the full year to 31 December 2012, while Pre-tax profits grew by43% to £90.6m. It also extended its portfolio from 271 to a reported 324 in the same period. B&M has consistentlyoutperformed the market with sales growth of 17.4% reported in 2011 and 43% reported in 2010.
John Lewis sales return to growth with 13.5% rise
Department store John Lewis saw sales growth return in March thanks to a strong performance across bricks & mortarstores and online as total sales rose 13.5 per cent, it has been announced. Although heavy snow impacted sales patterns inthe week to March 23rd 2013, with fashion struggling as demand for winter warmers continued, the electricals directoratedrove growth with sales rising 22 per cent on the same period last year.
Boots launches evening ready meals
Boots is launching its first range of healthy,
‘ready meals’ under its lunchtime Shapers brand in 100 Boots stores throughout
London and across major commuter sites. The Shapers evening meal selection offers 27 new options with prices from£1.25 including main meals, warm salads, vegetable accompaniments and desserts. The range follows the lunchtime formatwhereby customers can pick up a main meal and side or dessert for 500 calories or less. The extension to the Shaperslunchtime brand follows a trial released in August last year in partnership with Musgrave to deliver a convenience foodoffer within a number of its stores.Jones, who will take on the roles of chairman and chief executive, has launched six stores, including the OxfordStreet flagship. Up to 30 more stores are set to openthroughout April, following a £4m investment. Jonesrescued Jessops out of administration last month after itcollapsed in January, closing 187 stores. The retailer hadstruggled to trade due to the growing popularity of camera phones and a tough economy. He believes the
high street is “fighting back”, following the buyout of
Blockbuster and British Retail Consortium figures whichshowed a 2.7% year-on-year increase in shoppers onthe high street in February 2013.