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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 09​ November, 2015

Primark sales rise after successful expansion

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Primark has announced that its LFLs rose by 1% in the year to September, as its total sales rose 13% at constant currency rates to £5.3bn. The retailer’s operating profit increased 2% to £673m, after it opened 1m sq ft of shop space globally. Primark now has over 160 stores in the UK, as well units in Spain, Ireland, Germany, The Netherlands and the US. The retailer plans to open a further 1.5m sq ft of space this financial year, including its first Italian store. Primark wasn’t the only UK fashion retailer to report positively last week; AllSaints and SuperDry also both announced a profit increase after successful international expansion in the past year.

In comparison, Marks and Spencer reported another fall in sales as a revival in its women's fashion range failed to materialise. Sales of general merchandise, which includes the troubled clothing division, were down by 1.2% for the six months to September 26. Overall LFLs for M&S fell by 0.4% in the UK, although food sales rose by 0.2%. M&S’s food division once again proved a shining light for the retailer as two of its competitors reported negatively this week. Fellow upmarket grocer, Booths, announced that its sales fell by 0.5% in the year to March 28 as it was hit by food deflation. Discounting as well as deflation impacted Morrisons’ total sales which were down 2% in its third quarter.

In positive news for the sector, the new £260m Broadway Bradford shopping centre opened last week. Work began on the 570,000 sq ft centre in 2004, but halted in 2008 due to the financial crisis. The scheme now boasts more than 70 restaurants, cafes and shops including Debenhams, M&S and SuperDry. The UK retail market is currently seeing a raft of new developments being realised; Birmingham’s Grand Central opened last month and Friars Walk in Newport will open later this week.

JLL Retail Management have been appointed as managing agents for Friars Walk.

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