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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 01 March​, 2017​​​

Expansion fuels Primark sales growth

Primark has reported that it expects its UK LFLs to rise 2% in the 6 months to March 4, while total sales are expected to rise 21% in the same period. The retailer’s sales have been boosted by a near 40% extension of its eastern Oxford Street store, and the increased footfall on Oxford Street, as tourists are drawn to the UK's high streets by the devaluation of the pound. Primark expects to open 300,000 sqft of space globally in the next quarter, with a new outlet in Uxbridge in the UK.

Elsewhere, Hotel Chocolat’s pre-tax profits have risen 91% in the 12 months to June. Revenues were up 12% while online sales increased 20%. Looking forward, Hotel Chocolat is planning to launch a redesigned website and ‘Chocolate Lock-Ins’ to increase brand interaction on and offline. Further evidence of the changing retail market comes from John Lewis, who this week have reported that it will cut nearly 400 jobs in its home fittings services and restaurants amid a shift to online shopping. "These proposals will allow us to modernise our business as it adapts to the changing needs of our customers," said Dino Rocos, John Lewis operations director.

And finally, Land Securities has sold The Printworks in Manchester to DTZ IM for £108m. The premier city centre leisure destination reopened in 2000, hosts 17 F&B venues and is anchored by a 20-screen Odeon cinema, which houses the only IMAX screen in the city. Mark L Smith, Head of Leisure Investment, JLL UK, commented “the resilient performance of the Leisure investment market has driven appetite for the sector, as investors seek to capitalise on rental and capital growth, driven by a strengthening occupational market and low vacancy rates.”

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