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Market Commentary

​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 13 July, 2015

Budget Special: Sunday Trading Laws to be relaxed

The Chancellor has announced the biggest shake-up of Sunday trading laws for 20 years, in last week’s Budget. Under current legislation larger retailers in England and Wales are only allowed to trade for six hours between 10am and 6pm on Sundays, although shops with less than 3,000 sq ft of floor space can open all day. Local authorities and mayors will now decide how long large stores can stay open. The law was previously relaxed for eight weekends during the summer of the 2012 Olympics, leading to increased sales.

Damian Sumner, Head of Retail Agency at JLL commented: "this is a welcome announcement from the Chancellor. With people able to shop online 24/7, the physical retail world needs to be able to compete. Time is the most vital commodity that people have and more flexibility is required to enable people to fit shopping into their busy lives. At a time of rising consumer confidence more shopping time can only be good news for retailers and consumers alike."

Elsewhere, a number of leading UK retailers have announced trading figures this week. LFLs in M&S’s General Merchandise business fell 0.4% in the 13 weeks to June 27, due in part to the cool weather. However, M&S Food reported a 0.3% rise in LFLs and its international sales rose 0.7%. Superdry and Primark both announced positive trading results this week, with Superdry group LFLs up 4.8% and total sales at Primark 12% ahead of the same period last year, at actual exchange rates. Both retailers also announced on-going international expansion plans, with Superdry expanding in China and Primark entering Italy and continuing to expand in the US. As such, they are great examples of UK retailers with a strong and translatable proposition exploring selective expansion in Europe and beyond, a trend we exlpore further in our Destination Europe 2015 report.

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