Our trade marketing director Rob Carter looks back at Christmas 2017 retail performance and looks forward to the key spring/summer retail and leisure opportunities that your business could be taking advantage of.
Another year has come and gone for the UK retail sector, and few years could claim to have been as turbulent.
2017 was always going to be tough for the sector following the EU referendum decision, with uncertainty and rising inflation not providing the best breeding ground for growth.
However despite this turbulence, the sector, in a broad sense, has continued to perform. According to Mintel, average sales for the year grew by 4.4% in value terms, and 2.0% in volume terms.
So this represents a slowdown on 2016, but equally a better performance than we might have expected.
Seasonal winners and losers
Mintel has labelled Christmas 2017 as ‘okay’, but no better.
Food retailers have performed the best and the results from the market leaders are remarkably similar. Aldi and Lidl are well out in front in total sales growth terms.
Non-food retailers had a more difficult time, in part, perhaps because of sales brought forward by Black Friday. But brands such as FatFace, Superdry and Ted Baker all posted great figures, as did John Lewis and boohoo.
Online sales grew strongly across the board.
Major spring/summer retail events
Despite a distinct lack of enthusiasm among UK consumers, the market value of the major spring/summer retail events – that’s valentine’s Day, Mother’s day, Father’s Day and Easter – continued to rise in 2017, with spending reaching an estimated £2.2 billion.
Traditionally Easter was the biggest gifting event in the UK spring/summer retail calendar in terms of value. However people are now spending more on Valentine’s Day.
Mintel’s consumer research found that 62% of UK consumers bought products or services as a gift for Mother’s Day in 2017, making it the most purchased-for event in the spring/summer retail calendar with an estimated £570m spent last year.
That’s an average spend per person of £42.
Mintel also found that the vast majority of people still shop in store for the major spring/summer events, with four out of five consumers (82%) stating that’s what they did in 2017.
As a number of the UK’s bank holidays are held within spring/summer months, including Easter, Mintel conducted research to understand which type of leisure activities and shopping behaviours people engage with during bank holidays.
As well as trips to the park, pub and cinema, the research indicated that around one in five consumers dines out over the spring bank holidays.
It also highlighted that a similar proportion of consumers will go shopping and that 15% would use the extra time to shop online.
DIY, home improvements and tradesmen all experience spikes over the busy bank holiday periods.
The lively housing market in the years from 2014-16 helped stimulate spending on the home, and decorating, buying new furniture and flooring topped the wish list for 2017.
In general people prioritise spending on the rooms that they use most often and/or are on public view, so living and dining is the largest market segment.
Digital marketing takeaway
If you’re planning to support any of these opportunities, watch the above video through to the end for a handy, ready-to-follow marketing plan.
For more information about our commercial solutions, including digital display and pay-per-click advertising, see here.
If you have any questions please get in touch.
Source: Mintel UK Retail Briefing – January 2018