20 Feb UK MARKET HIGHLIGHTS – FEBRUARY 2019
Every month B.D.C. gives you the key retail information you should not have missed. Key trends, innovation, major players, startups, market figures – discover in 60 seconds the latest key retail news.
A slight increase in UK retail sales and the breakthrough of Click-&-Collect
The sales period has led to an increase in January retail sales by 2.2% against a 1.4% increase the same month last year. After December’s difficult figures, last month has brought some silver lining in retail sales, especially thanks to food sales (+2.4%) and online non-food products sales (+5.4%), which were led by promotions.
Meanwhile, the UK Click-&-Collect market is expected to grow by 45.8% by 2023, totaling £9.8bn. According to GlobalData, clothing and footwear is the largest represented sector, as it represents almost 60% of C-&-C expenses in 2018. The service now goes without saying for customers, who are more demanding than ever in terms of delivery. Yet, it also represents a significant added value for retailers, as 40% of customers bought an additional item when they went to collect their order in-store.
Yet, customers still worry about the uncertain economic future due to Brexit and a no-deal eventuality. The GfK Consumer Confidence Index was at -14 in January, opposed to the -9 recorded during the same month in 2018. It is also the lowest overall consumer confidence score since July 2013, which shows the “wait and see” attitude of British consumers.
Stores are reinvented for more immersive journeys
After the launch of a leasing furniture trial in Switzerland this month, IKEA is intensifying its efforts on sustainability as it opened its new greenest store, the first full-sized to open in London in 14 years. Located in Greenwich, the eco-friendly store aims to be 100% powered by renewable energy. It includes a “Learning Lab” that will host some events and workshops to bring customers awareness to upcycling and recycling – by teaching how to fix an item for example.
Greenwich’s 500 employees all have to use public transportation to come to work as the area is really well-deserved, unlike the standard IKEA large stores locations. All customers are also encouraged to use it to come to the store, while their purchases will be delivered to their homes via electric vans and bicycles.
Following a very successful year, Made.com announced its plans to expand to four new territories. Indeed, it recorded a 37% increase in global sales and saw a new record of £114 million revenue in the UK, which still accounts for 38% of the company’s turnover. Thus, after launching to Spain last October, the furniture pure player now aims to launch in Portugal, Italy, Denmark, and Sweden.
The pure player also recently revealed the renovation of its Soho showroom, whose size tripled to more than 1100 sqm. It now displays many more in-store technologies including some large interactive tables to browse Made catalog. Plus, customers can order their products online on smaller touch screens at the end of the showroom or ask for personal style advice in the consultation area.
Panasonic for Business opens an interactive showroom
Located in Panasonic’s new headquarters in Bracknell, the business branch of the brand just opened an interactive Customer Experience Centre. It presents 100 of its B2B solutions and technologies in terms of retail, transports, logistics in two zones: an immersive 270° interactive presentation space and a demonstration area.
From their arrival, clients receive a Toughbook tablet including an app, providing them white papers and explanatory videos on products, or interactions with NFC tags in the presentation space. The showroom displays Panasonic’s technologies to solve business technology challenges, part of its new brand proposition “Freedom through innovation”.