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UK Retail Briefing - March 2014

Each month Mintel’s UK Retail Briefing concentrates on a particular sector or market. This month’s focus is on furniture and DIY retailing.

This sector focus includes:

  • Month-by-month growth of DIY and furniture retailers' sales, January 2012-January 2014, and the impact of the Help to Buy scheme
  • Consumer spending on key furniture, DIY and home goods spending in 2013 
  • Consumer Tracker data on activities carried out on the home and planned for the near future with analysis by age and socio-economic group
  • We also include an Analyst's Comment looking at whether the latest high profile price campaigns at the major grocers really represent additional savings.

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Table of contents

  1. Analyst Comment

    • Price wars
      • Tesco’s £200m of cuts
        • Asda’s £100m of cuts
          • Morrisons and the £1bn
            • What’s really happening
              • Price stability
              • Retail Sales – Background and Outlook

                • Key points
                  • Retail sales trends
                    • Figure 1: Retail sales trends, 2013-14
                  • BRC data for January
                    • Figure 2: UK retail sales y/y growth, BRC vs ONS, 2012-14
                  • John Lewis
                    • Figure 3: John Lewis: Year-on-year growth, 2013-14
                  • Inflation and wages
                    • Figure 4: The income squeeze: Wages growth vs inflation, 2008-13
                  • Inflation
                    • Figure 5: Annual percentage change in the consumer price index for selected product groups, 2013-14
                  • Looking forward
                  • Sector Focus – DIY and Furniture Retailing

                      • What we’ve seen
                        • DIY specialists: Benefitting from Help To Buy
                          • Figure 6: DIY and hardware specialists’ sector sales: Annual % change, January 2012-January 2014
                          • Figure 7: DIY and hardware specialists’ sector sales (incl. VAT), 2009-14
                        • Furniture specialists: losing out to non-specialists?
                          • Figure 8: Furniture and lighting specialists’ sector sales: annual % change, January 2012-January 2014
                          • Figure 9: Furniture and lighting specialists’ sector sales (incl. VAT), 2009-14
                        • Consumer spending: Lighter categories see gains in 2013
                            • Figure 10: Consumer spending: Estimated annual % change, by category, 2013
                          • The consumer: Spending on the home jumps
                            • Figure 11: Trends in activities done and consider to do – Spend money on my home (new kitchen, redecorate, new furniture etc), June 2012-January 2014
                            • Figure 12: Trends in activities done in past three months – Spend money on my home (new kitchen, redecorate, new furniture etc), by average age and affluence, January 2014
                          • Younger consumers want to spend on their home
                            • What it means
                            • Headlines for the Month

                              • Co-ops
                                • Convenience stores
                                  • Grocers
                                    • Clothing retailing
                                      • Mixed goods retailing
                                        • Multi-sector retailing
                                          • Department stores
                                            • DIY retailing
                                              • Electrical retailing
                                                • Home shopping
                                                  • Economy
                                                  • News Analysis – Food and Drink

                                                    • Co-ops
                                                      • Co-op
                                                        • …plans convenience store expansion
                                                          • …surveys public regarding its future
                                                            • …2013 losses to be over £2bn
                                                              • …documents leaked over Co-op salary increases
                                                                • Convenience stores
                                                                  • McColl’s launches initial public offering
                                                                    • Spar gets boost from television campaign
                                                                      • Grocers
                                                                        • Aldi
                                                                          • …and Lidl further store expansion plans
                                                                            • …beats Waitrose for first time in supermarket poll
                                                                              • Asda
                                                                                • …announces additional £100m in price cuts
                                                                                  • …sees drop in like-for-like sales in fourth quarter
                                                                                    • …to introduce 130 more hybrid checkouts
                                                                                      • Morrisons
                                                                                        • …looking for sale to private equity firms
                                                                                          • …shares surge due to founding family buyout rumour
                                                                                            • …to take on Aldi and Lidl with price cuts
                                                                                              • Sainsbury’s
                                                                                                • …and Co-op follow Tesco and reduce milk prices
                                                                                                  • …finance director expects continued discounter growth
                                                                                                    • …launches UK’s first ‘grown by women’ coffee
                                                                                                      • …Waitrose and discounters see market share growth
                                                                                                        • Tesco
                                                                                                          • …appoint George Dymond
                                                                                                            • …customers' passwords leaked online
                                                                                                              • …reveals profit of online grocery business
                                                                                                                • …to introduce ‘digital wallet’
                                                                                                                  • …to make changes to middle management
                                                                                                                    • …to reset UK margins
                                                                                                                      • …finance director could be on the way out
                                                                                                                        • …Warren Buffett decreases stake in Tesco
                                                                                                                          • Waitrose
                                                                                                                            • …staff to carry tablets
                                                                                                                              • …and Nisa are next retailers to lower milk prices
                                                                                                                                • Specialist food retailers
                                                                                                                                  • Thorntons first half profits increase
                                                                                                                                  • News Analysis – Non-food

                                                                                                                                    • Clothing retailing
                                                                                                                                      • Primark sees 4% increase in like-for-like sales
                                                                                                                                        • TJX Europe plans 40 new stores
                                                                                                                                          • Bolongaro Trevor receives £1 million funding
                                                                                                                                            • CEO of Hobbs to step down from role
                                                                                                                                              • Coast to restructure as it goes for double-digit growth
                                                                                                                                                • Karen Millen to open new Knightsbridge flagship store
                                                                                                                                                  • Mulberry appoints Louis Vuitton executive
                                                                                                                                                    • New Celtic Sheepskin & Co boss to take company “back to its roots”
                                                                                                                                                      • New Look
                                                                                                                                                        • …aims to expand before IPO
                                                                                                                                                          • …chairman Alistair McGeorge to depart
                                                                                                                                                            • …reports sales increase
                                                                                                                                                              • Topshop to give customers virtual front row experience of London Fashion Week
                                                                                                                                                                • Footwear retailing
                                                                                                                                                                  • Shoe Zone announces full-year sales increase
                                                                                                                                                                    • Mixed goods retailing
                                                                                                                                                                      • Tiger sees 45% increase in turnover
                                                                                                                                                                        • Poundland
                                                                                                                                                                          • …given £750m valuation
                                                                                                                                                                            • …confirms plans to launch an IPO
                                                                                                                                                                              • The Works has best January sales ever
                                                                                                                                                                                • Three retailers set to float in coming weeks
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Multi-sector retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                    • M&S could offer share buyback to reassure investors
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Department stores
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Eleven Paris creates new Kate Moss collection exclusively for Selfridges
                                                                                                                                                                                          • John Lewis
                                                                                                                                                                                            • …announces weekly sales increase
                                                                                                                                                                                              • …launches new JLAB technology incubator
                                                                                                                                                                                                • …posts strong performance in 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • …sees sales increase despite weather
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • DIY retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Wickes reports sales increase but drop in profits
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Electrical retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • BrightHouse reports revenue growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Dixons and Carphone Warehouse confirm merger talks
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Montagu puts Maplin up for sale
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Carpet retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • United Carpets sees like-for-like sales increase
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Furniture retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bathstore
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …to go up for sale
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …website sees dramatic improvement
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • DFS to provide financial support to furniture brand Dwell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Homewares retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Dunelm interim results show 4.8% revenue growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Home shopping
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • UK: Amazon rebrands LoveFilm service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ao.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …valued at £1.2bn on London Stock Exchange
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …asks suppliers for transparency
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …sees shares soar after stock market debut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Asos improves online delivery options
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Blue Inc overhauls its online business
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Boohoo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • …IPO to be valued at £500 million
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • …plans overseas expansion from IPO proceeds
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …former Shop Direct chief executive joins Boohoo board
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lovehoney to launch new Frisky Business TV series
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Marks and Spencer re-launches website
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Moonpig.com owner planning IPO
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • My-Wardrobe launches ‘try it, keep it, buy it’
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ocado to launch new kitchen and barbecue range
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • PoundPanda closes from heavy online traffic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Shop Direct tests augmented reality
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • UK online retail sees strongest January performance since 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Online spend up 18% y-o-y in January 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • UK shopping by smartphone continues to increase
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Health and beauty retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Superdrug to launch three new store designs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • The Body Shop appoints new retail director
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Books and stationery retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Smiggle launches in the UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Sports and leisure goods retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sports Direct announces profit rise in third quarter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Miscellaneous specialist retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Mothercare’s CEO Simon Calver resigns
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Pets at Home
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • …IPO valued between £1.05 billion and £1.3 billion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • …moves forward with float
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • …appoints new directors in preparation for flotation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …private equity owner to potentially make £200m as a result of float
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Economy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Footfall increases as shoppers look to shopping centres to avoid the weather
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • January 2014 sees strongest sales growth since March 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • ONS reports strong retail growth for January
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Retailer store expansion stunted in 2013
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Shop prices fall for tenth consecutive month
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Local Data Company shop vacancy rate falls in February

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Aldi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Amazon UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Amazon.co.uk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Amazon.com Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • AO World Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • ASOS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • ASOS (UK retail sales)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Associated British Foods Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Aurora Fashions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Aurora fashions UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bathstore.com Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Behar Carpets Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bloomberg L.P.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Boohoo.com plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Brighthouse
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • British Retail Consortium
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Carlyle Group (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Carpetright UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • CBRE | Melody
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Comet Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Credit Suisse Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • CVC Capital Partners Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Deutsche Bank AG
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • DFS Furniture Holdings Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Dixons Retail Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Dunelm (Soft Furnishings) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Dwell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Early Learning Centre Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • eBay Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Financial Times Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Fresh Connection Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Hamleys of London Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Harrods Group Total
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Harvey Nichols UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Hobbs Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • HobbyCraft Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Iceland Foods Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Jane Asher Party Cakes & Sugarcraft
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • John Lewis Partnership
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • John Lewis Plc (department store)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • JPMorgan Invest LLC (BrownCo)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kantar Media
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Karen Millen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • London Stock Exchange plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • LOVEFiLM International Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Maplin Electronics Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • MasterCard UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • McColl's (convenience stores)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Merlin Entertainments Group Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • MFI Furniture Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Mondelez International
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Montagu Private Equity Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Moonpig.com Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Mothercare Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • My-Wardrobe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • N Brown Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Netflix, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • New Look Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Nisa (fascia) incl. Loco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ocado
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ofcom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Office for National Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Office of Fair Trading
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Pets at Home Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Planet Organic Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Poundland Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • PricewaterhouseCoopers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Primark Stores Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Reuters Group PLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sainsbury's Local
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Selfridges Retail Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Shoe Zone Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Shop Direct Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Space NK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sports Direct Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sports Direct UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Superdrug Stores Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Tate Modern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Telegraph Group Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Tesco (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Body Shop - Retail Sales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Carphone Warehouse Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Carphone Warehouse Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Co-operative Food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Sofa Workshop Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Thorntons Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Tiger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • TJX International (TK Maxx Europe)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Toolstation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Topshop old
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Travelodge
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Travis Perkins Retail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • United Carpets Group plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • USC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Visa Europe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Wickes Building Supplies Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Wm Morrison Supermarkets

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      UK Retail Briefing - March 2014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      £295.00 (Excl.Tax)