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UK Retail Rankings - April 2018

The retail sector appears to be in turmoil.  There has been an unprecedented number of failures or retailers reported to be in trouble just in the first quarter of 2018.  It would be easy to go on to say that the whole retail sector, and particularly the store-based sector, is in deep trouble.

But it is not as straightforward as that.  There are some general themes, but for most of the businesses that have been closed down this has been because of their own specific problems.

There may be underlying themes and it would be true to say that many of the retailers that have sought support through CVAs have overexpanded and had too much space.  But that overexpansion has usually been exposed by their own underperformance, it has not necessarily been because of the success of online retailing.

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Table of contents

  1. Technical Notes

      • Changes to the 2018 UK Retail Rankings
        • Home shopping – online retailing
          • Electricals
            • Qualifications
              • Figure 1: Small and medium company exemptions, 2016
            • Sales areas
              • Classifications
                • Rankings
                  • Mergers and acquisitions
                    • Data
                      • Year-ends
                        • Sales
                          • Profit
                            • Non-retail data
                              • Subsidiary accounts
                                • Sales density
                                  • Classifications and market shares
                                    • Figure 2: Sector codes used in this report
                                • The UK Retail Scene

                                    • 2017 was not a bad year
                                      • Figure 3: Retail sales growth by sector, 2017
                                    • Prospects for 2018 not that bad either
                                      • Failures – some common reasons
                                        • Toys R Us
                                          • Maplin
                                            • Conviviality
                                              • Kleeneze
                                                • Furniture
                                                  • Fashion – much more demanding in the internet era
                                                    • Why now? And what does it say about the high street?
                                                      • Online still the fastest growing element in retailing
                                                        • The multichannel option – long term makes most sense
                                                          • Competition – so much more than stores vs online
                                                            • Rabbits in the headlights
                                                              • The siren call of diversification
                                                                • When will online peak? The example of booksellers
                                                                  • Prospects for the high street
                                                                    • Short term prospects 2018 and into 2019 - not too bad at all
                                                                      • Figure 4: Consumer confidence, January 2014- February 2018
                                                                  • Mergers and Acquisitions

                                                                      • Figure 5: Key mergers and acquisitions: April 2017-April 2018
                                                                  • Administrations

                                                                      • Figure 6: Key administrations: April 2017-April 2018
                                                                  • Books, News and Stationery Specialists

                                                                    • Sector introduction
                                                                      • Sector highlights
                                                                        • Figure 7: Booksellers’ and stationers’ sales as % of all retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                      • Sector structure
                                                                        • Figure 8: Books, news and stationery specialists, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                      • What we’ve seen
                                                                      • Carpet Specialists

                                                                        • Sector introduction
                                                                          • Sector highlights
                                                                            • Figure 9: Carpet specialists’ sales as a % of all retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                          • Sector structure
                                                                            • Figure 10: Carpet specialists, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                          • What we’ve seen
                                                                          • Charities

                                                                            • Sector introduction
                                                                              • Sector highlights
                                                                                • What we’ve seen
                                                                                • Clothing Specialists

                                                                                  • Sector introduction
                                                                                    • Sector highlights
                                                                                      • Figure 11: Clothing specialists’ sales as % all retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                                    • Sector structure
                                                                                      • Figure 12: Clothing specialists, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                    • What we’ve seen
                                                                                    • DIY Specialists

                                                                                      • Sector introduction
                                                                                        • Sector highlights
                                                                                          • Figure 13: DIY specialists’ sales as % all retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                                        • Sector structure
                                                                                          • Figure 14: DIY specialists, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                        • What we’ve seen
                                                                                        • Electrical Goods Specialists

                                                                                          • Sector introduction
                                                                                            • Sector highlights
                                                                                              • Figure 15: Electrical specialists’ sales as % of all retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                                            • Sector structure
                                                                                              • Figure 16: Electrical specialists, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                            • What we’ve seen
                                                                                            • Food Specialists (including Off Licences and Tobacconists)

                                                                                              • Sector introduction
                                                                                                • Sector highlights
                                                                                                  • Figure 17: Food specialists’ sales as % of all food retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                                                • Sector structure
                                                                                                  • Figure 18: Food specialists, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                                  • Figure 19: Drinks retailers, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                                • What we’ve seen
                                                                                                • Footwear Specialists

                                                                                                  • Sector introduction
                                                                                                    • Sector highlights
                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Footwear specialists’ sales as % all retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                                                    • Sector structure
                                                                                                      • Figure 21: Footwear specialists, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                                    • What we’ve seen
                                                                                                    • Furniture and Homewares Specialists

                                                                                                      • Sector introduction
                                                                                                        • Sector highlights
                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Furniture and homewares specialists’ sales as % all retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                                                        • Sector structure
                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Furniture and homewares specialists, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                                        • What we’ve seen
                                                                                                        • Garden Specialists

                                                                                                          • Sector introduction
                                                                                                            • Sector highlights
                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Spending on gardens, plants and flowers* as % of all retailers’ sales (inc. VAT), 2008-17
                                                                                                            • Sector structure
                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Garden goods retailers, market shares*, 2016/17
                                                                                                            • What we’ve seen
                                                                                                            • Health and Beauty Specialists

                                                                                                              • Sector introduction
                                                                                                                • Sector highlights
                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Health and beauty specialists’* sales as % all retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                                                                • Sector structure
                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Health and beauty retailers, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                                                • What we’ve seen
                                                                                                                • Home Shopping

                                                                                                                  • Sector introduction
                                                                                                                    • Sector highlights
                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Mail order* retailers’ sales as % all retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Other non-store retailers’ sales as % all retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                                                                    • Sector structure
                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Non-store retailers, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Non-store retailer sub-sectors’ shares of sales, 2016/17
                                                                                                                      • What we’ve seen
                                                                                                                      • Jewellery Specialists

                                                                                                                        • Sector introduction
                                                                                                                          • Sector highlights
                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Spending on jewellery as % of all retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                                                                          • Sector structure
                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Jewellery retailers, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                                                          • What we’ve seen
                                                                                                                          • Miscellaneous Specialists

                                                                                                                            • Sector introduction
                                                                                                                              • Sector highlights
                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Miscellaneous specialists’ sales as % of all retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                                                                              • Sector structure
                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Miscellaneous specialist retailers, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                                                              • What we’ve seen
                                                                                                                              • Mixed Goods Retailers

                                                                                                                                • Sector introduction
                                                                                                                                  • Sector highlights
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Mixed goods retailers’ sales as % all retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                                                                                  • Sector structure
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Mixed goods retailers, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Department store retailers, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                                                                  • What we’ve seen
                                                                                                                                  • Opticians

                                                                                                                                    • Sector introduction
                                                                                                                                      • Sector highlights
                                                                                                                                        • Sector structure
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Opticians, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                                                                        • What we’ve seen
                                                                                                                                        • Recreation Specialists

                                                                                                                                          • Sector introduction
                                                                                                                                            • Sector highlights
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Toys and sports clothing and equipment sales as % of all retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                                                                                            • Sector structure
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Sports shops, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Toy shops, market shares, 2016/17
                                                                                                                                            • What we’ve seen
                                                                                                                                            • Supermarkets, Superstores and Convenience Stores

                                                                                                                                              • Sector introduction
                                                                                                                                                • Sector highlights
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Supermarkets’ sales as % all retailers’ sales, 2008-17
                                                                                                                                                • Sector structure
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Supermarkets, market shares*, 2016/17
                                                                                                                                                  • What we’ve seen

                                                                                                                                                  UK Retail Rankings - April 2018

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