Let’s go shopping

Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 by Venn GroupNo comments

We are already half way through 2017 and after the doom and gloom of 2016 the opinion of many is that that year was better left in the past. However in the midst of political unrest and many beloved celebrities passing away, was a notoriously tough billion pound industry storming ahead. The UK’s nearly £350bn retail industry had a bumper year of growth and success in 2016.


It’s not hard to find details of these success stories in the news and almost all high street brands have declared themselves winners in terms of sales and growth.



It’s well known that online retail and e-commerce has seen enormous growth in recent years and this continues to do so. UK retailers reported an 11% increase in online sales growth in 2016 for all non-food retail.  In the same 8 week period in the run up to Christmas in 2016 sales were again up 12% on 2015. This has certainly contributed to the industry’s success.


There were stirrings of online retail sales plateauing, which have since been squashed. Consumers expect to be able to shop 24/7 from anywhere in the world and demanding the goods quickly. This isn’t limited to traditional high street brands for the first time in 2016 fashion week brought us see now buy now.  A move away from the traditional collections which wouldn’t be available to buy for months after showcased on the runway.


Speaking to my clients within the industry has shed some light on retail’s success.  For many of them not only have sales increased but also margins. Retailers were cleverer in 2016, discount sales were proactive rather than reactive and also selective. Successful retailers put more time into planning who was to receive an exclusive money off deal and when. Discounted stock was carefully thought out rather than a blanket percentage reduction.


Of course not everyone was a winner and there are many reasons why retail has had a storming return to growth in recent years. Could it simply be because we shopped more in an attempt to cheer ourselves up?


2017 will continue to be an exciting year for the industry and interesting to see how Brexit, Sunday trading laws, national living wage, online/mobile/digital technologies, Black Friday and Cyber Monday make an impact. Whatever this year’s results bring let’s hope that 2017 is as well dressed as 2016.


Yasmin Russell, Venn Group

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