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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 15​​​ February, 2016​​​​

January sales up, as momentum continues for​ retail sector

After a generally positive Christmas trading period, momentum has been maintained in the UK retail market, with January’s LFLs up 2.6% according to the BRC. On a total basis, sales were up 3.3% compared to last year. Spending is now at a four-month high, with sales growth driven by consumers buying big-ticket items like furniture and white goods. Furthermore, the grocery market seems to be improving. Figures from Kantar Worldpanel show that the market is returning to slow growth, registering a total increase of 0.2% in the 12 weeks to the end of January.

For the first time since 2011 the Co-op was the fastest growing non-discounter, increasing sales by 1.4%. Sainsbury’s sales also increased for the sixth period in a row, growing by 0.6% as Tesco and Waitrose similarly showed signs of improvement. However both discounters, Aldi and Lidl, saw growth accelerate further; Lidl to 18.7% and Aldi to 13.7%, with their share of the market increasing by 0.7% points.

In other positive news for the sector, footfall across the UK rose 1.2% in January. The BRC’s data showed that the number of shoppers heading to the high street grew 0.2%. Shopping centres also held their own, with stable visitor numbers while retail parks remained the best performers, with footfall rising by 5.2% year-on-year. This is the first time all three types of shopping destination did not record a drop in footfall since December 2011.

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