The Christmas shopping sales figures released today by the British Retail Consortium pretty much confirm what most involved in the sector know already; low consumer confidence as a result of economic conditions, compounded by the chaos caused by the snow, has sorely tested the UK's shopping locations.
As reported on EGi this morning, the BRC's figures show that like-for-like sales dropped by 0.3% in December 2010, compared with December 2009, with large, non-food items being hit the hardest.
But despite the backdrop, a trawl of the web reveals that plenty of occupiers and landlords across the UK have managed to buck the trend. Here's a round-up:
- Retail Week reports that Sainsbury's emerged from the festive period as the winner among the 'big four' grocers, with the grocery sector clocking in with growth of 5.1% in the six weeks to December 26.
- The BBC, meanwhile, reports that high street favourite Marks & Spencer's Christmas sales were up 2.8% year-on-year in the last three months of 2010, showing that it is not all doom-and-gloom for the UK's major retail occupiers. That said, The Guardian reports that Debenham's lost £30m in sales as a result of the snow chaos.
- The Liverpool Daily Post reports that locally-based online retailer Shop Direct, which owns the Littlewoods brand, had a bumper Christmas with December's like-for-like sales up 5% from the previous year. Indeed, the surge in internet shopping, as reported by Computer Business Review, is driving demand for shed space, according industrial agents.
- Meanwhile, the Bristol Evening Post reports that Hammerson's and Land Securities' Cabot Circus scheme recorded its busiest ever day as shoppers flocked to the sales on December 27, resulting in a 33% year-on-year increase in footfall. It will be interesting to see whether it is reflected in the scheme's sales figures.
- And In the north west, the Chester Chronicle reports that McArthurGlen's ever-popular Cheshire Oaks designer outlet scheme posted a whopping 18% increase in like-for-like sales between Boxing day and January 2.
Snow Shopping image by berthadriana from Flickr, used under creative commons licence