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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 10 August, 2015​​​

Changes to UK’s Sunday Trading Law ‘Misguided’

Under government plans unveiled last week, local councils will be able to set their own Sunday trading agreements. Whilst JLL welcomes the government's decision to relax Sunday trading laws, we believe it is misguided to devolve these powers to local government with no central law. Tim Vallance, Head of Retail & Leisure at JLL, comments "Retailers have been struggling to make shops work efficiently for almost a decade due to economic headwinds and the structural changes in the way people shop, most notably with the internet. Whilst trying to show that they recognise the problems faced by retailers, the gesture to devolve Sunday trading powers to a local level shows that they have forgotten that it is the consumer who should be able to decide when and where they shop, not local politicians."

In positive news for UK’s retail sector, Travis Perkins has reported a 7.8% increase in sales in the first six months of the year, climbing to £2.9bn. LFLs have increased by 5.7%, with pre-tax profit up by 3.2% to £158.6m. Whilst there has been pressure on DIY retailers due in part to a shift from ‘Do-it-yourself’ to ‘Do-it- for-me’, Travis Perkins has signalled its confidence in the recovering market by raising its dividend by more than 20%.The company, which has more than 600 UK outlets, has successfully enhanced its multichannel offer in order to cater for the changing needs of its customers.

In other news, Aldi has announced an ambitious £600m expansion plan to open 130 new UK stores and recruit 35,000 additional staff. Aldi has gained traction in recent years, and in April it overtook Waitrose as the UK's sixth-biggest supermarket, with 5.3% market share. In addition, Oxfam is to trial six “super saver” stores in an effort to turnaround a 3% decline in sales, while homeware retailers Dreams and Dwell have also announced expansion plans for 50 and two new stores respectively.

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