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Market Commentary

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 21​​​​​ September, 2015

UK retail sales maintain momentum

​​​​The volume of UK retail sales is estimated to have increased by 3.7% in August 2015, the 29th consecutive month of Y-O-Y growth, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). School uniforms boosted sales for small stores, while the growth in large stores came from online sales. The ONS numbers paint a slightly more positive picture than those released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) last week, which reported August's LFL sales down by 1.0%, with total UK retail sales up 0.1% compared with last year.

Kingfisher has reported UK & Ireland LFL sales were up 3.3% for the 26 weeks to August 1. B&Q’s performance remains muted, with total sales up 0.2% and LFLs up 0.7%, as Kingfisher continues to optimise the portfolio. By contrast, Screwfix’s LFLs were up by 16.5%. Leveraging the excellent trading results and the increased consumer demand for specialist tradesmen for DIY tasks, Kingfisher is reported to be considering increasing the Screwfix store portfolio from 412 to 600 outlets.

In other news, American Eagle Outfitters has announced plans to accelerate its UK expansion. The retailer is aiming to have between 20 and 30 stores across the UK, and roll-out its Aerie underwear brand. This demonstrates the ongoing retailer demand for the right physical space in the right locations, and the important role stores play in showcasing a brand, and in creating a space that facilitates true ‘brand experience.’

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