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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 17​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ August, 2015

UK LFL retail sales jump 1.2%

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UK LFL retail sales increased 1.2% from July 2014, following a 0.3% decrease on the preceding year, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC). On a total basis, sales were up 2.2%, against a 1.3% rise in July 2014. In the three months to July, total Food sales were up 0.1%. Non-Food sales grew 3.7% over the same period, showing strong underlying momentum for this category. Home Accessories and House Textiles formed three of the top four performing categories, supported by a robust housing market.

In positive news for the UK retail sector, underlying momentum boost for home categories is also reflected in ScS positive trading figures. The furniture retailer's LFL sales for the year ending July 25 jumped 5% YOY. LFLs increased 1.4% during the second half of its financial year compared to 2014. In addition, sales at Card Factory have surged by 8% in the last six months after a boost from new store openings, while LFL sales grew 2.7% in the second half of the year. Game has reported “robust trading” in its second half, as revenues excluding hardware rose 7%.

In other news for the UK retail sector, airport retailers in the UK currently benefit from VAT tax deduction and are failing to pass on the discounts to passengers. Victoria Gould, Director in JLL's Retail team commented: "This single pricing policy is to obviously increase the level of sales at the airport. The issue regarding Boots and WH Smith and the fact that they do not offer a saving to the consumer, particularly those travelling outside of the UK, is a complex one. Of course it would be possible for them to operate a dual pricing policy but margins are typically quite low in these businesses and also they are seen as core offers within the airport that are a real benefit to the passenger."

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