An early Easter
and the ongoing economic recovery helped lift retail sales in March, as
the sector posted the strongest sales growth seen in nearly a year, according
to the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Retail sales in the UK increased by
3.2% on a LFL basis from March 2014, when they had decreased 1.7% on the
preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 4.7%, against a 0.3% fall in
In further positive news this week, Poundland reported strong
results, implying that despite the macroeconomic recovery, the discount
culture in the UK is here to stay. Poundland's LFL sales rose
2.3% for the 12 months to March 29, up from 1.4% in the previous
period. The company reported total sales growth of 11.4% to £1.11bn, on
the back of a real estate portfolio that has increased from 190
stores in 2008 to 600 stores.
figures, future organic growth in the discount sector may be harder to
come by, hence Poundland's intended £55m takeover of 99p Stores, in
an attempt to increase the scale and footprint of its business, and
to help reach its 1,000 store target more quickly. However, the
Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating the
acquisition, over concerns about 80 local areas where the two companies
had competing stores and 12 areas where they would be future competitors.
Despite the current investigation, future consolidation in
the sector appears inevitable, as the UK discount space has become
increasingly crowded in recent years.
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Director, Head of Retail Research (UK & EMEA)
+44 (0)20 3147 1155
Director, Head of UK Retail & Leisure
+44 (0)20 7318 7838
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