12 Apr good or bad Friday for retailers?
With Easter just around the corner, what can we expect to see from the first major retail ‘peak’ of the year?
Well, according to DX, a leading independent logistics and parcel distribution company, the stage is set for a ‘Black Friday’- style rush in the UK’s DIY sector. A combination of house price rises and a slowing in house sales means that, instead of moving, the focus this Easter weekend will be on making the best of what we have and heading down to B&Q to check out colour charts and the latest garden furniture. Many retailers will be banking on this prediction coming true, given the news in February that footfall in retail parks suffered its worst drop since 2013 – much of this from a weakening spend on furniture and household items in the first quarter.
Easter spending is typically dependent on the weather, with rain usually benefiting the grocers more than other retailers. Last April saw snowfall across many parts of the UK, which played havoc with seasonal shopping trends. If we see a repeat of this, we may all end up staying home in our furry slippers and cranking up the Nest thermostat, rather than donning our Ray-Bans and throwing a few steaks on the barbie.
As the London Marathon approaches, expect sales of fitness trackers to continue to rise. Last year, John Lewis recorded a 74% sales spike the week before the marathon. Our favourite is the excellent TomTom Spark 3, – with features including a heart rate monitor, GPS tracking and built-in music storage, will have you reaching for your running shoes faster than you can say ‘Mo Farah’.
From a consumer perspective, we have seen more disposable income being spent on leisure and entertainment than on buying tangible items (78% of millennials would choose to spend money on an experience or event over buying something desirable*). We are now beginning to see some brands, including Sonos and Apple, starting to increase their retail prices due to the impact of a weaker pound. It therefore remains to be seen whether shoppers will be tempted to part with their hard-earned cash to have the latest and greatest piece of kit, or, instead, spend it on an experience that can be photographed, tweeted about, shared and enjoyed for longer.
We’ll be exploring some of the latest trends, as well as sharing new strategies for how retailers and brands can succeed in 2017 in our forthcoming Masterclass ‘Using intelligence to win the retail war’.
You can find out more information on the agenda and sign up by clicking here.
Regardless of what you get up to this weekend, I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Easter from all of us at hps Retail7.