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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 24 August​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, 2015

Rise in Chinese spend boosts UK retail market

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The UK retail market has received a major boost from Chinese visitors this summer. Analysis of spending by Chinese Visa cardholders shows a 44.5% increase in money spent in the UK in July year-on-year, exceeding spend by French and Australian visitors. This now means visitors from China are the second highest spending tourists in the UK, behind the US. Shopping continued to be the Chinese’s most prevalent holiday activity, with £20m spent on clothing, at department stores and on the high street in July.

Additionally, the ONS confirmed the BRC’s positive figures released the week before last, reporting another monthly sales rise. July sales volumes rose 4.2% year-on-year as strong growth in household goods sales helped to offset falls in sales of petrol and clothes. It was also announced that the CPI measure of inflation edged up to 0.1% in July from zero the month before, remaining well below the Bank’s 2% target. The UK economy and retail sector will continue to be helped by the low levels of inflation due and the additional spending power that provides consumers.

In other news, Asda announced its worst sales performance in its 50 year history last week, hit by fierce competition for customers in which rivals cut prices and issued significant amounts of discount vouchers. Asda boss Andy Clarke insisted the supermarket had reached its “nadir” and would bounce back after revealing a 4.7% fall in LFLs in the three months to June 30. Kantar Worldpanel estimates that Asda still has a market share of around 16%.

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