European retail trade up

European Retail Trade Volume, Feb 2014: Eurostat

  • In February 2014 compared with January 2014, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 0.4% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.5% in the EU28
  • In January retail trade increased by 1.0% and 0.6% respectively.
  • In February 2014 compared with February 2013 the retail sales index increased by 0.8% in the euro area and by 1.5% in the EU28.

Retail sales fall

Retail Sales, August 2013: ONS

  • Year-on-year estimates for August 2013 showed that the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 2.1%. This continues the underlying pattern of growth seen since April 2013.
  • On the month, the picture was one of contraction. Following strong growth of 1.1% in July 2013, the quantity bought in the retail sector fell by 0.9% in August 2013. Despite this fall the level of goods bought remained high.
  • The main source of downward pressure came from the food sector (-2.7%), where feedback suggested that sales were back to a more normal level for this time of year. This followed a strong performance in the previous month (2.7%) when sales were boosted from the hot weather.
  • The prices of goods sold in the retail industry slowed from an annual increase of 1.8% in July 2013 to 1.6% in August 2013.  Consistent with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), the automotive fuel sector provided the largest contribution to this change with the prices of goods sold in this sector increasing by 1.5% compared with 2.6% in July 2013.
  • The main source of upward pressure to year-on-year estimates of the quantity bought in the retail industry came from the non-store retailing sector which includes retail businesses selling predominantly online, through mail order, or via stalls and markets.
  • From January 2013, the amount spent and quantity bought in the non-store retailing sector, have shown continued strength.  The exceptionally high growth in August 2013 compared with 2012 was largely due to the August 2012 figure where, feedback suggests, sales suffered as consumers watched the Olympics and Paralympics.

Empty shops

One in seven shops lies empty: LDC/Retail Times

  • In H1 2013 the GB shop vacancy rate has remained stable at 14.1% (-0.1% on 2012)
  • The number of vacant shops empty shops in the top 650 town centres is 22,339
  • The number of food and beverage (leisure) units has expanded at three times the rate of shops, +0.9% v +0.3%
  • The oversupply of shops in Great Britain has already been identified but, the stock has grown in the last six months by 403 units
  • Wales has the highest national shop vacancy rate at 17.5%
  • Scotland and Wales have shown an improvement in shop vacancy rates by -0.6% and -0.5% respectively whilst England’s worsened by 0.1%
  • The best performing region by a long way (3.4%) is London at 9.4%
  • The worst performing region remains as the North West at 20.1%
  • The East Midlands has shown the greatest improvement at -0.4%
  • Shopping centres continue to have the highest overall vacancy rate at 16.1%, followed by large (13.5%) and medium (11.9%) town centres, retail parks (9.6%) and small town centres (9.2%)