This week has been quite a revealing week for the retail industry with some of the
There have been some clear successes. House of Fraser, John Lewis, Sainsbury's, New Look, SuperGroup, Debenhams, Majestic Wine, Foyles, Morrisons and JD Sports have all reported increased like-for-like sales figures.
But there was a more worrying picture being painted by the likes of Home Retail Group, Tesco, Mothercare, Halfords and Thorntons, which all flagged up falling sales. Some of these lacklustre results come despite widespread discounting in the run up to Christmas, which will have hit retailers' pockets.
A clear opportunity or warning sign (depending if your glass is half full or half empty) for both retailers and landlords to pick out of these results lies in the blossoming online sales figures. They helped some retailers push through a tough trading period.
John Lewis said: "Our very successful multichannel and online operations have been at the heart of John Lewis' performance. All three John Lewis markets were instrumental in driving sales in this area, with johnlewis.com outperforming its market and seeing 27.2% growth."
"As the 'Click and Collect' facility has proved to be so popular, from next month the number of collection outlets will more than double to 116, including collection points in 84 Waitrose branches, with more being planned."
Debenhams' like-for-like sales increased by 1.4% including VAT in the 18 weeks to 7 January 2012. However, its online business, which it says is a key component of its multi-channel offer, delivered like-for-like sales increase of 34.8%.
Ellen Flood, retail expert from Shopow says: "The internet is developing as a key element of the retail landscape. Online shopping offers shoppers an incredible amount of choice, convenience and savings."
"What we will see this year is the evolution of the high street with leading retailers changing their approach, and in many cases their product lines, to reflect the tastes of the modern shopper."