Retail sales throughout the Christmas period saw the worst performance since 2010, coming dramatically below economists’ already cautious forecasts. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed a worrying picture of the high street, with retail sales volumes falling 1.5 per cent month-on-month over one of the most vital periods for the industry. Analysts had predicted a 0.6 per cent sales decline.
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A bad start to the month followed by heavy snowfall has dragged down the footfall figures for one of the most important trading periods of the retail calendar. According to the latest monthly Retail Traffic Index (RTI) compiled by consultancy firm Ipsos Retail Performance, overall UK footfall plummeted by 9.6 per cent last month compared to the same time in 2016
House of Fraser has revealed falling sales amid its Christmas trading update just days after calling for the “support” of landlords to reduce its rent prices. In the six weeks to December 23, store sales dropped 2.9 per cent, despite a 0.8 per cent rise over its “record” Black Friday event
Boohoo has outpaced the struggling fashion sector after posting record sales across all of its brands over a “highly successful” Christmas trading period. In the four months to December 31, the online fashion retail group saw revenues grow 100 per cent across all its markets, wracking up £127 million in net cash. Gross margins for the period also shot up 52.5 per cent.
Mountain Warehouse has posted record Christmas sales driven by its most lucrative day of sales ever on Black Friday.
Westfield saw footfall peak over the Christmas period welcoming more than 14.1 million shoppers to both of its UK centres. Increasing one per cent on last year, the shopping centre giant saw three major peaks in shopper numbers during the holidays. One Black Friday weekend 850,000 shoppers visited Westfield Stratford City and Westfield London
Footfall and retail sales growth on the high street has been lacklustre in the weeks leading up to Christmas, with heavy snow and Black Friday blamed.
Shoppers can expect more promotions and discounts offered in the week before Christmas Day than during Black Friday, a survey suggests. According to trends observed by auditing firm PwC, more retailers will run promotional activity in the next seven days, to the point that it will outweigh the promotional activity that occurred during the Black Friday sales weekend at the end of November. PwC consumer markets leader Lisa Hooker said retailers are upping the ante on promotional activity this year in order to clear Christmas stock
Some deals weren't that different from a month before Black Friday, and while Amazon handily beat rivals on many items, it didn't always have the best price, research shows.