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Market Commentary

​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 08​​ August​​​, 2016​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Warm weather boosts UK retail market

Visa’s latest monthly consumer spending survey data suggests that the initial impact of the Brexit vote has been less severe than expected. Business confidence has fallen by less than expected and shopper spending has increased as a result of warmer weather. Visa UK’s monthly index showed that consumer spending across all sectors rose 1.6% YoY in July, compared to 0.9% in June. While hospitality, which includes the food & beverage sector, rose 8.9% in July, the highest rise of all sectors monitored.

The warmer weather and school holidays have also driven a rise in footfall over the last week.  High street footfall was up 1.5% YoY in the week to July 31, with overall footfall rising 0.5% in the same week. However, shopping centres and retail parks saw a drop in footfall – both down -0.6% against last year, a symptom of the warm weather as consumers were attracted by outdoor retail and leisure environments.

On the back of increased warm weather, rise in footfall and increases in consumer spending, the John Lewis Partnership has reported positively. The department store reported a 3.4% rise in YoY sales at for the week to July 30, with sales of swimwear and garden furniture boosting its figures. In addition, Waitrose sales rose 4.3% in the week to July 30, with picnic food selling well. Food to go rose 13% and salads and pre-packed items were up 11%. Strong promotional activity also drove baking sales up 21%.

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