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Market Commentary

​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 20 October, 2014

Positive results for a variety of retailers, despite a drop in September's LFL retail sales

​Despite a 2.1% LFL decrease in September's UK retail sales, a number of retailers have released positive trading figures. Notably Game has benefitted from new product launches. The retailer benefitted from the launch of the new games consoles and key gaming franchises with sales jumping 31% to £861.8m during its year to July 26.

Further strength in physical retail has been seen with Carpetright reporting a robust performance with LFL sales in the UK up 7% and total sales up by 5.7% in the 11 weeks to October 11. Furthermore, Coffee retailer Caffè Nero generated a profit before tax of £23.5m in the year to May, against a profit of £21.1m in the same period a year earlier. The company opened 31 new stores in the year, taking it to 548 in total in the UK, with LFL sales up by 2.7%.

Additionally, John Lewis sales were up 12.9% to £80.59m last week as the cooler weather sparked demand for winter goods. The upmarket department store retailer has this week also opened its first ever railway station shop within St Pancras International, aiming to capture the lucrative commuter and tourist trade. Waitrose sales excluding petrol increased 5% to £120.6m in the same period, as demand across home baking surged 25%. Waitrose also opened its latest travel outlet opposite Manchester Piccadilly Station to capture more sales from so-called 'transumers'. These initiatives demonstrate the importance for retailers to be well-located and connected in order to link supply and demand effectively (see our Redefining Retail Places Project for further details). 

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