Retail sales beat expectations despite Brexit concerns

British shoppers have shrugged off the Brexit blues, with retail sales growing at their fastest level in six months, a report by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) shows. Sales jumped 1.4 per cent in July, after a 0.9 per cent decline in June. The news is welcome relief for retailers, who saw their steepest drop in sales in four years immediately following the vote to leave the EU. Whilst the fall in sterling may have attracted more visitors to the UK, the price of imported goods are however likely to increase over time, leading to households reducing spending on non-essentials.

And there’s even more good news for value retailers, as research by analysis firm Verdict Retail has shown that the UK value clothing market is set to grow by £3.2 billion over the next five years, with the forecast 2021 market value equating to 23.6% growth on the 2016 figure*. The menswear segment is set to be the main market driver, outpacing womenswear with its forecast growth of 29.2% by 2021.

The survey of 10,000 UK consumers found that the country’s value clothing shoppers now place more importance on value for money and quality than they have previously, with value for money scoring 8.6 out of 10 for importance when it comes to store selection, and quality scoring 8.4.

Commenting on the survey findings, Kate Ormrod, senior analyst at Verdict Retail, says: “Focusing solely on price will not satisfy value clothing shoppers…Value players need to make investment across the board with improved in-store merchandising, a personalised shopping experience online with a range of delivery options, enhanced product design and quality, and regular newness to entice frequent spending and retain shopper loyalty.”

Our retail business specialists at Beavis Morgan are available to assist with strategic planning, system implementation, business turnaround and improving business performance for the future. For further information about how we can help you and your retail business, contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.

*Information based on Verdict Retail’s report: UK Value Clothing Market 2016-2021.