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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 06 June​​, 2016​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

BHS demise will lead to scramble from discounters

It has been reported that BHS is to enter liquidation after failing to find a buyer, and will close all of its 163 stores. The move comes at the cost of up to 11,000 jobs and is the biggest collapse on the UK high street since Woolworths in 2008. Damian Sumner, Head of Retail Agency at JLL commented on the announcement: "the long and drawn out death of BHS is a sad story for British retail. We will now see a scramble from discount retailers to get hold of a large majority of the stores, with the weakest stores closing immediately. Given this has been on the cards for a while, in many cases the liquidator might seek to put interested parties on a licence immediately.”

In other news, Halfords reported a fall in full-year pre-tax profits of 1.25% in the year to April 1. However, chief executive Jill McDonald branded it a “solid performance” as the group gained market share in its motoring and cycling divisions. Group LFLs were up 1.5% while motoring LFLs were up 2.5%. LFLs in the cycling division fell 0.9% over the year but Q4 sales rose 1.9%.

In the UK grocery sector, Lidl and Aldi remain the fastest growing retailers, as sales jumped 14.2% and 11.4% respectively for the quarter to May 22, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Co-op sales rose 3.3%, while Waitrose sales were up 2.1 % for the quarter to May 22. Sales at Asda fell 5.1%, Morrisons posted a 2.1% decline in sales, while Sainsbury's sales dropped 1.2% and sales at Tesco fell 1% for the same period. The long running price war between the traditional Big 4 grocers and discounters such as Lidl and Aldi has resulted in UK shoppers now being 8.5% better off on each weekly shop than they were in December 2014, according to a separate report from mySupermarket.com.

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