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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 03​ August, 2015

Next maintains growth, driven by multi-channel investment

​​Next has maintained its sales growth, with total sales in the 26 weeks to July 25 up 3.5% and LFLs up 1.8%. Additionally, sales at Next Directory, which encompasses its catalogue and online businesses, rose 7.5%. Next has a very strong multichannel offer, with market leading services including free next day click and collect delivery to stores with a cut off time of midnight the day before. Persistent investment in this area has put the retailer ahead of many of its competitors. However, Next’s stores remain crucial to the business and it welcomed the recent government announcement to devolve Sunday trading laws to local councils.

In other news this week, Sainsbury’s has won back the title of the UK’s second largest supermarket, overtaking Asda in market share according to Kantar Worldpanel. The supermarket chain now has a market share of 16.5%, compared to Asda’s 16.4%. In an increasingly competitive market place, sales at all the ‘big four’ grocers declined in the 12 weeks to July 19. Even the best performer, Morrisons, saw sales fall 0.1%, as Tesco’s sales fell by 0.6%. However, the Co-operative returned to growth for the first time since July 2014, increasing its sales by 1.0%.

And finally, in leisure news, a number of pizza chains have made positive announcements this week. Pizza Hut has announced profits of £3.34m for the year to November 30, up from £1.69m in 2013. Its owner has recently embarked on a £60m refurbishment programme and is now considering a sale of the business. Domino's Pizza share price increased as its sales increased 14% in the six months to June 29, while its profits jumped 30% in the same period. In addition, Franco Manca, the sourdough pizza restaurant, has reported that it is gearing up for a significant year of expansion as it looks to spread to the regions.

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