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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 20​​ July​​​​​, 2015

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UK Retail market retains positive momentum

UK retail sales increased 1.8% in June on a LFL basis from June 2014, when they had decreased 0.8% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 2.9%, against a 0.6% rise in June 2014. This is the strongest growth, for both LFL and total sales, since January 2014. Growth was driven by good weather, ongoing low inflation and rising real incomes, which is boosting consumer confidence. The rate of UK CPI inflation fell to 0% in June, from 0.1% in May; commenting on the latest CPI inflation figure, Andrew Burrell, Head of Forecasting at JLL, said, "The combined factors of the labour market tightening and strengthening consumer confidence have helped drive CPI inflation back to zero.”


In more positive news for the UK retail sector, Dixons Carphone and Sports Direct both posted positive trading figures this week. Sports Direct’s group sales in the year to April 2 increased 4.7% to £2.83bn, while Dixons Carphone’s group LFLs jumped 6% in the 13 months to May 2, with UK & Ireland LFLs up 8%. Both retailers’ success is due in part to continuous investment in physical space, both existing and new, which is of paramount importance in the multichannel world.

In a busy week for trading updates, Halfords, Lidl, Burberry and B&M also reported positive sales growth, albeit for Burberry and B&M growth has slowed. Halfords reported a 3.5% rise in first-quarter group LFLs, Lidl UK's sales reached a record £4bn in the year to February, while Burberry reported group LFL sales were up 6% for the three months to June 30, and B&M’s UK LFLs grew by 1.1% in the 13 weeks to the end of June. These trading figures are generally indicative of the positive momentum which is currently behind the UK Retail market.

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