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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 1​​​​​​​​​​6 May, 2017

Retailers welcome April sales boost

​Total retail sales rose 6.3% in April YoY while LFLs increased 5.6%, according to the BRC. The total three-month average was up 2% YoY. Food sales rose 3.6% over the last three months, while non-food sales increased 0.7%. The recent figures are a welcomed boost for retailers, following the more negative figures for the first few months of the year. However, consumers are still acting cautiously and the timing of the Easter weekend and growing inflationary pressures drove sales, rather than rising consumer confidence, the BRC noted. A shift towards experience is evident and the 'experience economy' is rising steadily, as consumers continued to focus their spending on leisure and F&B in April, according to data from Barclaycard.

In other positive news, many retailers have recently announced expansion plans. Aldi, who currently has a portfolio of 700 stores, sees potential to quadruple its store portfolio in the UK. Aldi plans to reach 1,000 stores by 2022, but believes it could be closer to 1,300 stores by this time. Out of London, Smashbox Cosmetics has opened its first standalone store at Bluewater shopping centre, while five new brands have committed to Sheffield’s Meadowhall. US luxury sportswear etailer Fashercise has opened its first physical store in Islington, London, while French bow tie brand Le Colonel Moutarde is to open its UK debut shop in Shoreditch, East London. Accommodating retail and events, reflecting the trend to ‘experience’, Matches Fashion will launch a new concept store this year in a Mayfair townhouse.

Expansion has also been reported amongst F&B and leisure operators, and pop-ups are proving successful. A new pop-up food concept will be launched at Broadgate in the city, where five street food operators will trade from shipping containers. Mac & Wild’s pop-up will open permanently, while Indian restaurant group Kricket is to close its original pop-up in Brixton, to seek a permanent site in the area. Additionally, fast-casual US chain Wingstop has announced plans to open 100 units, with London the starting point for expansion, while Pizza Express will open its first ever motorway service site near Oxford later this year.

Read more about different F&B concepts, changing eating habits, and tech shifts within F&B in ICSC's latest report, authored by JLL, The Successful Integration of Food & Beverage Within Retail Real Estate.

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