19 Jun UK MARKET HIGHLIGHTS – JUNE 2018
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.
- According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), retail sales in volumes jumped by 1.3% last month, more than doubling analysts’ expectations of a 0.5% rise. Online retail sales surged 16.2%, and Ecommerce represented 5.8% of food sales, 17.4% of department store sales and 17.6% of clothing sales.
- Those positive results may be explained by a continued warm weather as well as the royal wedding celebrations. However sales growth remains low with an average Year-on-Year growth in volumes dropping to 1.6% over the last twelve months, compared to the 4.2% growth recorded at this time last year.
- This sales rise comes as a breath of fresh air in a tough period for retail as Poundworld plunged into administration earlier this month and House of Fraser has revealed its plans to close more than half of its stores.
- Regarding UK payment trends, 39% of UK SMEs now accept payment through apps in-store and almost half of medium-sized businesses now conduct payment using tablets or other devices. The increasing demand for frictionless shopping experience is making retailers re-think payment processes and they invest more in new technologies to meet this change.
- Being a leading digital player, Argos launched an augmented reality feature in its app enabling customers to see how different TV models fit in their homes. As always, Argos aims to give customers the best shopping experience, either in-store or online, especially during high-profile events like the World Cup.
- Google buys £414m stake in the second largest Chinese online retailer, JD.com. They will put together their significant tech resources dn expertise to develop the “next generation” of retail solutions. The companies said this investment is the start of a partnership that will see JD.com products promoted on Google’s shopping service, expanding JD.com’s reach beyond its Chinese base and into European markets (including the UK). A few months ago, JD.com has pledged its support to British businesses, committing to selling £2m UK goods to Chinese customers.
- Fashion department store chain House of Fraser is to close 31 shops affecting 6,000 jobs as part of a rescue deal. The stores scheduled for closure, which include its flagship on London Oxford Street, will stay open until early 2019. This is part of its rescue plan in a tough economic environment. The retailer needs the approval of 75% of its creditors to go ahead with the rescue plan and they will vote on the plan on June 22nd.
Last month, we talked about the rise of voice search and smart assistants. As a result, Google and France’s largest food retailer, Carrefour, have announced a new strategic partnership this month. This alliance will support Carrefour’s digital transformation and boost its online shopping sales in a context where rivals are also launching Ecommerce offensives.
Carrefour is the first retailer partnering with Google in France in order to offer a new grocery shopping experience. Items ordered through Google Home, Assistant or on the Google Shopping website in France can be delivered to the customer’s home or picked up in-store.
Anticipating the arrival of Amazon Alexa on the French market (now available since June 13rd), Google has previously partnered with Fnac Darty in April.