It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly three weeks since the British Brexit vote to leave the European union. Since the initial shock and predictable worry, a new Prime Minister has arrived with a new cabinet in tow. British consumers have continued actively buying online though in-store shopping traffic declined. For now, it seems like business as usual but what’s ahead for consumers in the future?
British Retail Consortium and research firm Springboard reported a 2.8% drop in retail traffic, the biggest since February 2014. BRC-KPMG Retail Monitor shows business as usual and little Brexit impact so far. According to a report by Verdict Retail and British Land, 89% of UK retail sales “touches” bricks and mortar stores. Verdict Retail also reported the value of tech stores rose 32% compared to an average of 5% for standard retail stores.
In 2016, UK mobile commerce sales are expected to reach $32.9 billion, up 25% from 2015. Shopping site My Favourite Voucher Codes says stronger e-commerce sales may be cushioning the impact of the Brexit vote for UK retailers – a positive sign for omni-channel retailers. According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), 25% of UK consumers chose Amazon as their favorite retailer followed by John Lewis (14%) and Marks & Spencer (10%).
UK retail comprises 33% or $443.3 billion of total consumer spending. Amazon UK is downplaying Brexit and still planning to add 1000 new jobs in Britain. SimilarWeb said Amazon.co.uk had 14.3 million website visits on Prime Day, up 36% from 2015. The top 25 UK retail websites saw a halo effect with traffic increasing 22% on the same day.
UK retail traffic plummets in wake of Brexit vote
Retail traffic in the U.K. dropped by 2.8% last month compared to June of last year, the biggest decrease since February 2014, according to figures released Monday by the British Retail Consortium and research firm Springboard.
City centers, shopping malls and retail parks all experienced declines, the first time all three location types reported traffic decreases since December 2013. Retailers on main streets saw a 3.7% traffic drop, malls experienced a 2.3% drop, and retail park traffic fell by 1% after rising by 1% in May.
While British Retail Consortium and Springboard executives said the so-called Brexit vote has made U.K. consumers wary, there were other reasons for the June traffic drop, including inclement weather and distractions like the Euro 2016 soccer tournament and the Wimbledon tennis championship. Via retaildive.com
BRC – KPMG Retail Sales Monitor June 2016: Too early to assess any Brexit impact on retail sales
“The month outturn was predominantly driven by a decline in sales in the fashion categories and isn’t a surprise given that June 2015 saw record growth in clothing and footwear. Looking across the last three months, food has held its ground with a better performance than non-food sales, which has seen its lowest growth since April 2012, largely due to fashion combined with a slowdown in furniture.
Britain’s retailers remain open for business. The EU referendum vote has not changed their relentless pursuit of delivering for customers day in, day out or their investment in meeting the needs of fundamental changes in the way people shop, driven by digital and technology. Despite the fall in the pound, the time it takes for any input price increases to translate into higher shop prices will depend on a combination of factors including further changes in the pound, commodity prices and the challenge for retailers to move pricing given the intensity of competition. So, there won’t be any instant shocks as any changes would take time to feed through. Via home.kpmg.com
Nine out of 10 UK retail sales “touch” bricks-and-mortar stores
Of the £313bn ($409.2 billion) spent annually by UK consumers, £278bn ($363 billion) or 89% “touches” a bricks-and-mortar shop via physical sales, click-and-collect or in-store browsing before the purchase is made online.
The research also quantified the “halo effect”, attributing 5% of online sales to the presence of a store and thereby “boosting” online sales.
This boost rose to 9% when grocery was excluded, as grocery sales tend to occur either online or in-store and do not have such multichannel crossover. Via retail-week.com
Tech stores have highest ‘true value’ boost at UK retail
Despite having a low percentage of physical store sales, tech stores have the highest ‘true value’ boost out of all the UK retail sectors.
A study carried out by analyst Verdict Retail has found that the ‘true value’ of UK tech stores saw a boost of 32 per cent, the highest across the entirety of retail in the country. By contrast, UK retail on average only has a five per cent boost.
The ‘true value’ of a store is defined by Verdict as including “both click & collect sales and online sales from store operators where consumers first browsed in store”.
Physical sales in 2015 amounted to £11 billion (49 per cent of total sales); the ‘true value’ of UK tech stores is £14 billion (64 per cent of total sales). For the sake of comparison, entertainment saw a ‘true value’ boost of just eight per cent, health and beauty is only boosted by three per cent. Via pcr-online.biz
Smartphone Shopping Driving UK Retail Ecommerce Sales
UK retail ecommerce sales are set to exceed £67 billion ($87.6 billion) in 2016, fueled by some impressive growth in smartphone-based buying, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast. The UK is a world leader in terms of retail ecommerce’s share of total retail sales, and by 2020 digital retail sales will represent a 22.6% share.
The growing retail ecommerce market is helping to offset a decline in traditional retail sales in the UK. The total retail sector, which includes high-street shopping , suffered negative growth last year, but it is set to start rebounding in 2017 when it will grow by 0.9% to reach £404.75 billion ($529.2 billion).
UK consumers have always been quick to embrace digital technologies and eMarketer’s forecast shows that this extends to shopping and buying. In particular, they are easily making the shift to spending on mobile devices. In 2016, total mcommerce sales will account for £25.2 billion ($32.9 billion), an increase of more than 25% on the previous year. UK retail mcommerce sales will continue to show double-digit growth throughout the forecast period, and by 2020 mcommerce sales are expected to exceed £42.5 billion ($55.6 billion). Via emarketer.com
Growth in online sales raises questions about predicted Brexit downturn
According to retail sales monitor BRC, online sales of non-food products grew by 9% in June compared to sales from the same month in 2015. Although this was a much smaller level of growth compared to 2015 vs 2014 figures (17.6%), 2016 was in line with trends for the year so far, with the three months up to June showing 9.7% growth year-on-year.
However, the picture for UK retail as a whole wasn’t quite so rosy. In the same three-month period, store sales declined 2.2% on a like-for-like basis, when looking at the five-week period between May 29th – July 2nd, there was a 2.8% decline. The effects of Brexit were more acutely felt here – in the first week of June the number of shoppers had risen by 0.4% on the previous year, but the figure fell by 4.6% in the week of the EU referendum and by 3.4% on the previous year the week after the result.
So does the much healthier online performance show there is hope for British retail, even with an uncertain period looming? Shopping site My Favourite Voucher Codes has taken a closer look at how key UK retailers are attempting to bring in online customers to bolster this growth and counter an anticipated downturn in store footfall. With shops keen to build on sales where they can get them, where can customers secure the best deals with their favourite high street retailers this summer? Via journalism.co.uk
Amazon the UK’s favourite retailer: survey
Amazon has been named the UK’s favourite retailer brand, according to a new survey.
Twenty five per cent of shoppers named the online retail giant as their preferred brand, according to data compiled by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).
John Lewis was second with 14 per cent, followed by Marks & Spencer with 10 per cent. Other retailers in the top 20 included eBay, ASOS, Primark, Apple, Next and House of Fraser. Via retailgazette.co.uk
Lessons from fashion retail
The retail sector enjoys a third of UK consumer spending, and took £339 billion ($443.3 billion) last year – five per cent of the UK’s GDP. Certain areas, like fashion for example, tend to keep growth business weathering economic disruption as they provide not only what people need, but also what they desire.
Fashion tends to lead the way – where fashion goes today other retailers will follow tomorrow. And where retail goes, other sectors take note and improve their business models and customer experience accordingly.
Fashion, like every other aspect of modern life, is finding technology a disrupting force. So what can other sectors learn from retail? Here are three of the latest trends led by fashionistas. Lessons from fashion retail
Amazon UK downplays Brexit impact, plans to add 1,000 jobs
Amazon’s new U.K. chief Doug Gurr said Wednesday that the United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union hasn’t had an impact on sales and that the e-commerce giant would create another 1,000 jobs in the country this year, Reuters reports.
Many have speculated that newly-drawn lines created by the so-called Brexit vote would impede Amazon’s fulfillment, shipping and hiring efforts, stalling its ambitious European (now European and U.K.) expansion plans.
Gurr said that the company is conducting “business as usual” and that until actions are taken on the exit, it’s operating under the current status of the U.K. being part of the E.U. Staples, by contrast, is reportedly considering shuttering its U.K. operations in light of Brexit. Via retaildive.com
What effect did Amazon Prime Day have on UK retail traffic?
Amazon saw online visits increase by more than a third over the course of Prime Day, according to new analysis.
SimilarWeb [IRDX VSWB] measured mobile and desktop visits to the top 25 retail sites on July 12 and found that visits to Amazon.co.uk reached 14.3m over the course of the 24-hour event. That was up by 36% compared to the first Prime Day last year when it saw 10.5m visits. Traffic was up by 19.5% compared to the previous day, July 11 2016, and by 45% compared to the three previous Tuesdays.
But the retailer was not the only one to benefit. Across the top 25, visits were up by 22%. Retailers such as Carphone Warehouse and Currys were also among the big winners. Collectively, the top 25 retailers saw 35.4m visits, ahead of the 29.1 million visits to the same sites last year. Via internetretailing.net
UK retail is business as usual, so far
Retailers and analysts seem to agree that the slight decline in retail store foot traffic is balanced by growth in e-commerce sales. No visible impact from the Brexit is apparent yet and will continue to keep you current on UK retail trends in the months ahead.