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News Release

UK Retail shows signs of sustained recovery, as over 90% of retailers report positive Christmas figures


With an underlying economic recovery seemingly underway, coupled with a marked improvement in consumer confidence, the UK retail market appears to be showing signs of a sustained recovery. JLL's annual Christmas trading update has found that over 90% of UK retailers that have disclosed performance figures for the key Christmas trading period have registered positive like for like (LFL) annual growth. JLL has also identified that around 40% of retailers delivered LFL growth in excess of 10% year on year.

As predicted, the clear winners were retailers who have an increasingly seamless, multi-channel offer. Specifically, click-and-collect has emerged as the true rising star. For some, growth will have been achieved at the expense of profitability, as a number of retailers lost their nerve and discounted early. However, figures would suggest that those retailers that did hold their nerve, were not penalised for doing so.

While conditions remain challenging for many, UK retail appears to be gaining strength. The ONS has announced that December's retail sales were up 5.3% on a year ago, the fastest annual sales growth in more than nine years. So, it appears that even the torrential rain witnessed over the Christmas period could not dampen retailer fortunes this time around.  Here's to 2014!

Retailer
Trading Period
LFL Sales Growth
Total Sales Growth
Online Sales Growth
Game
6 weeks to 4th Jan
90.0%
83%
213.0%
Jaeger
5 weeks to 28th Dec
32.0%
31%
57.0% (Q3)
Wine Rack
2 weeks to 5th Jan
21.8%
N/A
N/A
Boux Avenue
1st Nov - 24th Dec
20.2%
N/A
N/A
Selfridges
From Nov 12th to Xmas
20.0%
N/A
N/A
Dr Martens
December
20.0%
65.0%
36.0% (Int'l)
Jigsaw
5 weeks to 28th Dec
17.0%
N/A
39.0%
Liberty
11th Nov - 24th Dec
17.0%
N/A
N/A
Joules
"Christmas Period"
16.0%
N/A
N/A
Radley
2 months to 31st Dec
16.0%
N/A
N/A
Fortnum & Mason
5 weeks to 5th Jan
13.4%
N/A
26.4%
Moss Bros
5 weeks to 11th Jan
12.9%
N/A
N/A
Lush (UK)
5 weeks to 29th Dec
12.2%
N/A
27.7%
Burberry (Int'l)
3 months to 31st Dec
12.0%
14.0%
N/A
Karen Millen (UK + ROI)
3 weeks to 4th Jan
12.0%
10.0%
N/A
Domino's
13 weeks to 29th Dec
10.9%
15.6%
15.7%
Mountain Warehouse
6 weeks to 5th Jan
10.7%
15.6%
127.0%
Reiss
"Christmas Period"
>10.0%
N/A
N/A
The Works
December
10.0%
N/A
81.0%
Topps Tiles
13 weeks to 28th Dec
9.3%
N/A
N/A
Bonmarché
5 weeks to 28th Dec
8.4%
7.6%
70.3%
Ernest Jones
8 weeks to 28th Dec
8.0%
11.7%
37.5% (UK Group)
House of Fraser
3 weeks to 28th Dec
7.3%
N/A
57.7%
White Stuff
10 weeks to 4th Jan
7.3%
13.9%
52.9%
N Brown
6 weeks to 11th Jan
7.2%
N/A
N/A
John Lewis
5 weeks to 28th Dec
6.9%
7.2%
22.6%
Booths
3 weeks to 4th Jan
6.0%
N/A
N/A
Halfords (Retail)
15 weeks to 10th Jan
5.9%
6.2%
N/A
JD Sports
"Christmas Period"
>5.8%
N/A
N/A
Robert Dyas
1st Nov - 24th Dec
5.2%
N/A
N/A
Maplin
December
5.0%
N/A
N/A
Dixons Retail (UK & ROI)
1st Nov - 4th Jan
5.0%
4.0%
23.0%
Homebase
18 weeks to 4th Jan
4.7%
2.3%
N/A
Primark
16 weeks to 4th Jan
4.0%
12.0%
N/A
Argos
18 weeks to 4th Jan
3.8%
3.6%
N/A
Co-op (Food)
3 weeks to 4th Jan
3.5%
N/A
N/A
Thorntons
14 weeks to 11th Jan
3.5%
-2.9%
N/A
H. Samuel
8 weeks to 28th Dec
3.3%
3.2%
37.5% (UK Group)
Blue Inc
4 weeeks to 4th Jan
3.1%
14.7%
N/A
Waitrose (exc. Fuel)
5 weeks to 24th Dec
3.1%
5.4%
33.4%
Greggs
5 weeks to 4th Jan
3.1%
4.8%
N/A
PoundWorld
"Christmas Period"
3.0%
N/A
N/A
Dunelm
13 weeks to 28th Dec
2.9%
7.3%
N/A
Bargain Booze
2 weeks to 5th Jan
2.8%
N/A
N/A
Majestic Wine
10 weeks to 6th Jan
2.8%
5.9%
N/A
Ryman
1st Nov - 24th Dec
1.7%
N/A
N/A
The Original Factory Store
4 weeeks to 5th Jan
1.5%
4.8%
N/A
New Look
7 weeks to 31st Dec
1.5%
2.9%
62.0%
Marks and Spencer
8 weeks to 24th Dec
1.0%
2.7%
24.1%
Foyles
December
0.4%
N/A
N/A
Sainsbury's (exc. Fuel)
14 weeks to 4th Jan
0.2%
2.7%
N/A
Debenhams
17 weeks to 28th Dec
0.1%
0.7%
27.0%
Tesco (exc. Fuel)
6 weeks to 4th Jan
-2.4%
-0.6%
14.0%
Mothercare (UK)
12 weeks to 4th Jan
-4.0%
-9.9%
N/A
Morrisons (exc. Fuel)
6 weeks to 5th Jan
-5.6%
-1.9%
N/A
ASOS (UK)
4 months to 31st Dec
N/A
37.0%
N/A
Aldi*
12 weeks to 5th Jan
N/A
29.4%
N/A
Ocado
6 weeks to 5th Jan
N/A
21.3%
N/A
Crew Clothing
10 weeks to 5th Jan
N/A
20.0%
N/A
Ted Baker (Int'l)
8 weeks to 4th Jan
N/A
18.3%
N/A
Lidl*
12 weeks to 5th Jan
N/A
17.5%
N/A
Next
1st Nov - 24th Dec
N/A
11.9%
21.0% (Directory)
Fat Face
5 weeks to 4th Jan
N/A
5.0%
N/A
Shop Direct
6 Weeks to 27th Dec
N/A
5.0%
N/A
Iceland*
12 weeks to 5th Jan
N/A
3.8%
N/A
Matalan
4 weeks to 28th Dec
N/A
3.1%
22.0%
ASDA*
12 weeks to 5th Jan
N/A
0.8%
N/A
 
 
 
 
 
*Using Kantar Worldpanel Data
 
 
 
 
Source: London Stock Exchange and Company Press Releases (where not available www.retailweek.com and www.reuters.com were used)
 
 
 
 
 

Department Stores

As previously reported, department stores, John Lewis, House of Fraser and Next, were among the big winners of the Christmas trading period, while Debenhams and Marks and Spencer have both admitted to having disappointing Christmas trading figures. John Lewis recorded a 7.2% sales jump to £734m in the five weeks to December 28, with LFLs up by 6.9%. Shop sales jumped 1.2% and online sales surged 22.6% year on year (click-and-collect orders soared 61.8% on last year). Johnlewis.com accounted for 31.8% of the total John Lewis business in the period. 

Grocery

In the grocery sector, which we highlighted last week, the “big four” supermarkets are all losing market share for the first time on record as discount and premium retailers attract UK shoppers. German chain Aldi said it had its busiest Christmas in the UK with sales reportedly rising 29.4%. Lidl also revealed it had enjoyed its best ever Christmas performance, with sales reportedly increasing by 17.5%. Waitrose revealed that for the five weeks to December 24 underlying LFLs excluding fuel were up 3.1%. Consumers sought premium food and utilised the grocer’s strong multichannel offer, with 619,000 click-and-collect orders helping drive footfall. Meanwhile, the chief executive of J Sainsbury, noted that Christmas 2013 was the toughest in his 30-year retail career. Despite this competitive climate, Sainsbury’s still managed to report a 36th consecutive quarter of sales growth with a 0.2% increase in LFLs.

Fashion

In the fashion sector, there was a clear correlation between retailers' positive figures and the strength of their multi-channel offer. Jaeger (23%), Jigsaw (17%), Burberry (12%) and White Stuff (7.3%) all reported positive LFLs, driven by strong online and digital growth particularly in click and collect, which is a key plank of their multi-channel strategy.

Electronics

In the electronics sector, Game recorded staggering 90% LFL growth (inc. 213% online growth), spurred by the launch of two new gaming consoles. Dixons Retail and Maplin both also achieved positive LFLs of 5%, illustrating that despite fierce competition from online, there is still demand for electronic goods retailers on the UK high street.