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UK Retail Briefing - April 2019

This month's UK Retail briefing includes:
  • An Analyst comment - Department stores in turmoil
  • An overview of the latest UK Retail sales
  • Sector Focus - Clothing and Footwear retailing - UK
  • Highlights of the latest UK Retail trend observations
  • Monthly UK retail news headlines and analysis 

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Table of contents

  1. Analyst Comment

    • Department stores in turmoil
      • Shadow boxing
        • The administration
          • Management
            • Was Bucher worth backing?
              • What about Sports Direct?
                • Where next?
                  • Worth saving
                  • UK Retail Sales

                    • Key points
                      • Retail sales
                        • Figure 1: Retail sales trends, March 2018 – March 2019
                      • BRC vs ONS
                        • Figure 2: UK retail sales y/y growth, BRC vs ONS, March 2017-March 2019
                      • John Lewis
                        • Figure 3: John Lewis Department Stores: Year-on-Year Growth, October 2017 – April 2019
                      • Inflation
                        • Figure 4: Annual percentage change in the consumer price index for selected product groups, 2018-19
                      • Inflation and wages
                        • Figure 4: Real wages growth: Wages growth vs inflation, Jan 2016 – March 2019
                      • Consumer confidence
                        • Figure 5: Mintel Financial confidence tracker, January 2017 – February 2019
                      • Looking forward
                      • Sector Focus – Clothing and Footwear

                          • Clothing and footwear specialists underperformed in 2018
                            • Figure 7: Annual % change in value clothing and footwear retail sales, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, Jan 2018-Mar 2019
                            • Figure 8: Annual % change in volume clothing and footwear retail sales, non-seasonally adjusted, by month, Jan 2018-March 2019
                          • Clothing and footwear inflation
                            • Figure 9: CPI: Annual % change in the price of clothing and footwear (incl. repairs), Mar 2018-Mar 2019
                          • Consumer spending slows down in 2018
                            • Figure 10: Consumer spending on clothing and footwear, at current prices, non-seasonally adjusted, 2018
                          • Sustainability concerns resonating more with younger consumers
                            • Figure 11: Clothing buying behaviours: agreement with sustainability statements, by age, August 2018
                          • Vegan footwear could be a future trend
                          • Launch Activity and Innovations

                            • UK: Co-op launches new online delivery service
                              • UK: Aldi unveils new local store format
                                • UK: Asda announces plans to sell George clothing products made of recycled plastic
                                  • UK: H&M trials selling vintage clothing online
                                  • Headlines for the Month

                                    • Co-ops
                                      • Grocers
                                        • Clothing retailing
                                          • Footwear retailing
                                            • Department stores
                                              • Furniture retailing
                                                • Homewares retailing
                                                  • Online
                                                    • Health & beauty retailing
                                                    • News Analysis – Food and Drink

                                                      • Co-ops
                                                        • UK: Co-op
                                                          • …posts best growth in seven years for its food business
                                                            • …teams up with ethical living app
                                                              • …to double number of stalls at UK music festivals
                                                                • …to stop selling kitchen knives in response to increase in knife crime
                                                                  • Convenience stores
                                                                    • UK: Shell launches a new rewards programme
                                                                      • Grocers
                                                                        • UK: Lidl to roll out wonky fruit & veg boxes
                                                                          • UK: Morrisons
                                                                            • …reports uplift in sales and profits
                                                                              • …stocking up in preparation for a no-deal Brexit
                                                                                • UK: Sainsbury's and Asda reveal new details of their official responses to CMA investigation
                                                                                  • UK: Tesco
                                                                                    • …trial uses technology to recycle all forms of plastic packaging
                                                                                      • …to trial plastic-free fruit & veg
                                                                                        • …posts increase in full-year profits
                                                                                          • Off-licences
                                                                                            • UK: Majestic to rebrand as Naked Wines
                                                                                            • News Analysis – Clothing and Footwear

                                                                                              • UK: Bonmarché
                                                                                                • …issues third profit warning
                                                                                                  • …Philip Day acquires Bonmarché for £5.7 million
                                                                                                    • UK: H&M to create 800 new jobs through new Milton Keynes warehouse
                                                                                                      • UK: Joules CEO to retire
                                                                                                        • UK: Mamas & Papas enters into a partnership with John Lewis
                                                                                                          • UK: Monki unveils sustainable swimwear line
                                                                                                            • UK: Moss Bros posts a full year loss
                                                                                                              • UK: New Look
                                                                                                                • …operations boss exits amid management reshuffle
                                                                                                                  • …to stop selling menswear in-store
                                                                                                                    • UK: Next annual profits dip
                                                                                                                      • UK: Philip Green looking to restructure Arcadia Group
                                                                                                                        • UK: Pretty Green
                                                                                                                          • …officially collapses into administration
                                                                                                                            • …attracts interest from buyers
                                                                                                                              • …JD Sports acquires Pretty Green out of administration
                                                                                                                                • UK: River Island acquires Mint Velvet for £100 million
                                                                                                                                  • UK: Select lines up administrators
                                                                                                                                    • UK: Superdry
                                                                                                                                      • …battling against its founder’s return to the business
                                                                                                                                        • …Julian Dunkerton re-joins Superdry Board following narrow vote win
                                                                                                                                          • Footwear retailing
                                                                                                                                            • UK: Clarks hires three new non-executive directors
                                                                                                                                              • UK: Dune
                                                                                                                                                • …launches rescue bid for LK Bennett
                                                                                                                                                  • …relaunches Head over Heels brand
                                                                                                                                                    • UK: Mike Ashley moves to buy LK Bennett
                                                                                                                                                    • News Analysis – Mixed Goods

                                                                                                                                                      • UK: Poundworld founders launch discount chain One Below
                                                                                                                                                        • Multi-sector retailing
                                                                                                                                                          • UK: M&S
                                                                                                                                                            • …revives This is Not Just marketing campaign for its food business
                                                                                                                                                              • …to open larger food stores
                                                                                                                                                                • Department stores
                                                                                                                                                                  • UK: Debenhams
                                                                                                                                                                    • …announces it is in advanced negotiations to secure a £150 million lifeline
                                                                                                                                                                      • …considers pre-pack administration
                                                                                                                                                                        • …Sports Direct considers £61.4 million offer for Debenhams
                                                                                                                                                                          • …rejects Mike Ashley’s latest offer
                                                                                                                                                                            • …falls into administration
                                                                                                                                                                              • …secures £200 million cash injection
                                                                                                                                                                                • …secures £200 million financing deal
                                                                                                                                                                                  • …Mike Ashley announces plan to take over the running of Debenhams
                                                                                                                                                                                    • …Sports Direct offer Debenhams a new loan
                                                                                                                                                                                      • UK: John Lewis Partnership vows to have zero carbon emissions by 2050
                                                                                                                                                                                      • News Analysis – Household Goods

                                                                                                                                                                                        • DIY retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                          • UK: Topps Tiles reports improved second quarter sales performance
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Electrical retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                              • UK: Carphone Warehouse fined for mis-selling insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Furniture retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • UK: IKEA
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • …announces opening date of new planning studio
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • …unveils latest Planning Studio in Bromley
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • UK: ScS cautions that second half profit margins could be hit
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • UK: DFS sees surge in H1 profits
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Homewares retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • UK: Dunelm reports strong third quarter growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • UK: The Range set to open new head office this summer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • News Analysis – Online

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • UK: AO.com launches white goods rental service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • UK: ASOS to crackdown on serial returners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • UK: Boohoo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …acquires MissPap
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …new CEO takes over at Boohoo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • UK: Eve Sleep reports widening losses
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • UK: Express Gifts rebrands to Studio Retail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • UK: Findel rejects Mike Ashley’s takeover offer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • UK: Gear4Music posts second profit warning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • UK: Little Mistress to launch rental service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • UK: Ocado
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …revenue increases by 11.2% following warehouse blaze
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …starts trial of one-hour delivery service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • UK: Oh Polly posts strong year-on-year growth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • UK: Shop Direct to rebrand as The Very Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • UK: Sosandar expects full-year results to be in line with expectations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • UK: Woven celebrates a successful 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • News Analysis – Other Retail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Health & beauty retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • UK: Boots
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • …beauty halls undergoing a revamp
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • …possible Boots store closures ahead
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Book and stationery retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • UK: Paperchase CVA given the green light
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • UK: Office Outlet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • …collapses into administration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • …administrators close 16 stores and axes 161 jobs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sports and leisure goods retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • UK: Brompton Bicycle opening flagship in Westfield
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • UK: Evans Cycles to close 8 stores following Sports Direct takeover
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • UK: JD Sports to buy Footasylum for £90m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Garden centres
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • UK: A further 6 Wyevale garden centres sold off
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • UK: Nisa signs new partnership with Dobbies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Toys and games retailing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • UK: Game ramping up its transformation strategy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • UK: Hobbycraft launches Custom Crafting experience at Crawley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • UK: The Entertainer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • …reports 31% increase in full-year profit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • …Mothercare sells Early Learning Centre to The Entertainer for £13.5 million
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • News Analysis – Economy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • UK: February retail sales up by 4.0%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • UK: Google launches digital skills programme to boost high streets

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  UK Retail Briefing - April 2019

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