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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 04​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ January, 2016​​​​

​​Consumer confidence edges up in December

UK consumer morale in December edged up from a six-month low in November, according to a GfK survey. Consumer confidence has remained strong for all of 2015 with an average at +3 for the past 12 months. This is the first time since the Consumer Confidence Barometer started in 1974 that the Index has remained positive for an entire calendar year.

This should bode well for retailers’ Christmas sales as results start to filter in. Early indicators are positive, with John Lewis reporting sales up 2.3% to £129.2m in the Christmas week, and sister retailer Waitrose's sales, excluding petrol, up 9.9% in the same period. The Fragrance Shop reported a 7.7% rise in LFLs over the Christmas trading period after strong sales from luxury brands, and Selfridges recorded the most profitable hour in its 100 year history last week. By 10am on Boxing Day, the department store had taken just over £2m at its tills across the UK, a 2% increase on last year.

The number of people visiting UK high street shops on Boxing Day increased 11.7% compared with last year, according to Springboard. Visits to shopping centres increased by 7.8% and retail parks were up 3.2% as stores benefited from Boxing Day falling on a Saturday. The long weekend helped boost footfall by 8.9% in all shops on Sunday.

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