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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 06​​ June, 2017

Retailers buck challenging market

Despite the ongoing challenging market conditions, several major retailers have reported positive results recently. Sales at Dixons Carphone rose 4% for the year to April, while total sales including those at newly opened stores jumped 9%. This comes as Dixons Carphone has announced plans to roll out concession trials in some of Tesco’s largest stores, in what looks like a direct response to Sainsbury’s inclusion of Argos stores across its estate. Elsewhere, B&M Bargains has reported total sales growth of nearly 20% in the year to March 25; the discount retailer opened a new UK store every week as its pretax profits rose 18%. Furthermore, LFLs increased 1.5% at Pets at Home, 2.7% at Halfords, 3.5% at Kingfisher, 16.5% at Mountain Warehouse and nearly 3% for Card Factory. 

In other positive news for the sector, Philip Day, the owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill group, has announced he wants to open at least 50 of his eponymous Days stores. The first Days store opened in Carmarthen, Wales, last week in a former BHS unit. It will house all the Edinburgh Woollen Mill group brands, including Austin Reed, Peacocks, Jane Norman and Country Casuals, as well as Jaeger, following Day’s acquisition of Jaeger’s debt and brand from Better Capital earlier this year. 

Looking at the investment market, there has been a flurry of activity in the out of town sector in recent weeks. Hammerson has sold Westwood and Westwood Gateway Retail Parks in Kent to BMO for £80m, while Legal & General has acquired the Elgar Retail Park, Worcester, for c.£29m. In addition, LondonMetric has sold its Morrisons food store in Loughborough for £32.5m. North of the border, Europa Capital and Ediston Real Estate have acquired Auldhouse Retail Park, Glasgow from Aviva, and Lothbury has completed the sale of Stockbridge Retail Park in Linlithgow, West Lothian for £9.4m. The trend for rising activity in the out of town sector has been highlighted in JLL's European Retail Investment Perspective. Across the continent, investors are looking beyond traditional markets and asset classes for resilience, rental growth and upside potential in an increasingly competitive environment.​

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