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8 January 2019 0 Comments
Posted in Opinion, Retail & Leisure

Disaster for the retail industry, or is not all as it seems?

Author headshot image Posted by , Senior Associate
Contributing authors: Bharat Nahar

As 2018 comes to an end, reports suggest that it’s not all doom and gloom in the retail industry.

Ukranian mall

Christmas holiday surges

Food retailers, Aldi and Morrisons have reported a rise in sales over Christmas. Aldi the discount food chain, which now has 827 stores in the UK has described recent performance over the UK Christmas trading period as its best ever with sales increasing in the week leading up to Christmas by 10% year-on-year.  Aldi UK chief executive Giles Hurley said: “We begin the new year on the back of record Christmas sales.”

Morrisons has also unveiled an increase in Christmas sales which the supermarkets CEO, David Potts, praising staff for their continued efforts and thanking them for what they continue to do for their customers.

Group like-for-like sales (excluding fuel) are reported to be up 3.6% in the nine weeks leading up to 6 January with 0.6% of that increase accountable to retail and the remaining 3% resulting from its wholesale business.

David Potts said: “This is Morrisons’ fourth consecutive Christmas of like-for-like sales growth during the turnaround.  Our performance shows colleagues are listening hard and responding to customers, providing consistently great value and good quality when it matters most.  Morrisons is well set to keep improving the shopping trip and become more and more relevant for more customers.”

So far, its rivals, namely Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Tesco (Jacks) have not yet publicised performance statistics but these are due to be revealed later this week.

And it’s not just food retailers…

Likewise, despite the ongoing challenging sector trading conditions, fashion retailer’s have seen a rise in footfall and an increase in sales over the festive period. Joules, has defied the High Street turmoil and has recently reported retail sales as being up 11.7% year-on-year. Commenting on its performance, Colin Porter, CEO said: “I am pleased to update on a continued strong retail performance for Joules through the important festive trading period, which represents an improvement from the retail sales growth in the first half of the year.”

Selfridges, the luxury department store, also reported a record-breaking sales performance over the Christmas break with sales increasing by 8% across stores and online in the 24 days leading up to Christmas. For Selfridges the rise in sales is said to be the result of exclusive products, in-store events and entertainment including cabaret, pop-up choirs and confetti canons.

These current reports emphasise bricks and mortar is still as fundamental as ever before and retailers must engage with customers in as many ways as possible to create that “unforgettable customer experience”.

Photo by Victor Xok on Unsplash

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