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Market Commentary

​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 22​​ August​​​, 2016

July's retail sales demonstrate 'Brexit resilience'

July's retail sales report from ONS, which covers the month following the EU referendum, showed retail sales volume increasing 5.9% YoY in the four weeks to July 30. The value of retail sales was up 3.6% YoY, while online spend increased 16.7%. Commenting on the results, Tim Vallance, Lead Director for JLL UK Retail and Leisure, said: "While big ticket discretionary spending, including overseas holidays, cars, home improvements and other higher value retail purchases are more susceptible to a slowdown in consumer spending post Brexit, mainstream retail and leisure is likely to remain more resilient as these figures demonstrate. The fall in sterling seems also to have led to a boost in tourism which will particularly benefit heritage hotspots across the UK."

The Brexit vote certainly appears to have boosted retail sales in London's West End, where total spend in July was up by 4.9% YoY, according to the New West End Company, as opportunistic tourists benefitted from currency fluctuations since June's Referendum. These strong results, together with a number of international retailers announcing expansion plans, such as Aesop, Alex Arrigato and Honey Birdette, underlines the ongoing resilience of the capital's retail market.

In other news, Kingfisher, TJX, Laura Ashley and Estée Lauder were among retailers that reported strong sales last week. Driven by its B&Q and Screwfix outlets, Kingfisher's LFLs rose 3% to £3bn in the quarter to the end of July; LFLs at B&Q were up 5.6%, while LFLs at Screwfix increased by 13%. By contrast, Asda reported its worst ever fall in quarterly LFLs, with a drop of 7.5% in the quarter to the end of June. Footfall at the grocer's stores dropped 6% in the quarter, while net sales fell 3%.

To discover more about global retail city resilience, please visit our new interactive Destination Retail 2016 toolkit, which allows you to explore 140 of the world's most resilient retail cities and compare their international retail attractiveness.

To read more about the impact of the Referendum on the broader European real estate market, please see our most recent Brexit paper.

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