Jewellery sector sparkles in aftermath of EU referendum

Jewellery was the strongest performing sector for year-on-year growth in July 2016 with a 7.2% increases in sales, according to Savills research based on data from its managed shopping centres across the UK*.  The sporting goods sector was the next best performer, continuing its consistently positive recent performance with a sales increase of 6.6%.  Other growth categories included cafes, travel and value or discount stores.

By contrast, homeware sales decreased by -13.9% in July after showing positive growth in the first half of the year.  Savills suggests this could be a result of caution among house buyers and sellers in the immediate aftermath of the vote to leave the EU.  Womenswear and menswear continued to see sales decline in July (-8.8% and -7.5% respectively), in line with a longer term negative trend.

Savills also reports that footfall across its managed shopping centres saw a slight increase in July of +0.4%, compared with national average declines of between -0.4% (according to Footfall) and -2.1% (according to the British Retail Consortium and Springboard).

Stephen Toal, head of property management research at Savills, says: “Although it is still too early to pick out specific trends based on the result of the EU referendum, value retail has seen an immediate uptick while homeware appears to have felt the impact of some consumer uncertainty.  However, the success of jewellery in July shows that shoppers are still keen to purchase higher value goods.  It remains to be seen to what extent these trends continue in the second half of the year; and we will be monitoring them closely with a particular focus on Christmas which will provide a strong barometer for consumer sentiment.”

Looking further back than July, the electrical sector was the top performing category in the first half of the year with growth of nearly 20% from January to June 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.  Other strong performers over the period included childrenswear (+8.3%), sporting goods (+7.6%) and health and beauty (+5.2%). Conversely, value retailers saw a sharp drop over the period  (-9.6%),  along with confectionery (-7.6%) and womenswear (-7%) over the first six months of this year.

*Information was collated using over 1,200 pieces of turnover from across more than 50 UK shopping centres.

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