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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 21 March, 2017​​​​

​​Sainsbury's, Ocado and Inditex reveal results

Sainsbury’s group sales rose 0.3% in the 9 weeks to March 11, helped by a strong performance by Argos. LFLs at Sainsbury’s dropped 0.5% in the period, while LFLs at Argos rose 4.3%. With Sainsbury’s core business under pressure from rising costs, squeezed margins and fierce competition, the move to buy Argos last year is starting to show dividends. The catalogue retailer outperformed its rivals in the market during the 9-week period, according to Sainsbury’s Chief Executive.

Also reporting positive results last week were Ocado and Inditex. Ocado’s sales jumped 13.1% in the 13 weeks to February 26, as shoppers continue to embrace its proposition for online shopping. The rise in sales was driven by a 16.7% uplift in average orders per week; order sizes fell slightly as a result of rising food prices, however, as the fall in the pound pushed up the cost of imports. Inditex, owner of Zara, Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear and Bershka, saw sales rise 12% in the year to January. Sales grew in all markets, including the UK. Although hit by currency pressures, profits rose 10% to £2.7bn, after Inditex invested in its warehouses, technology, new stores and online expansion.

In leisure news, Morrisons has joined forces with online food delivery business Just Eat to launch the UK’s first takeaway inside a supermarket. Morrisons has opened a Bombay Bites Express concession at its Victoria Shopping Centre store in Bradford, as it continues to develop its in-store proposition. Morrisons already has tie-ups with Timpson, Amazon and Doddle as part of a drive to expand the range of services and experience in its bigger stores, and drive footfall.​

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