Monday, 23 April 2012


SRC-KPMG SCOTTISH RETAIL SALES MONITOR: SUN COAXED OUT RELUCTANT SCOTTISH SHOPPERS: Total sales in March were 1.8% up on March 2011, when they had declined 0.3%. Like-for-like sales were 0.9% higher than a year ago, when they had fallen 3.9%.


RETAIL CONDITIONS REMAIN TOUGH DESPITE MARCH BOOST: Official retail figures released today (Friday) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirm retailers benefited from increased sales in March compared with the same month a year earlier. Disregarding the exceptional circumstances that boosted fuel sales, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) says the lift was chiefly because of the early warm weather which encouraged consumers to buy summer clothes and things for the garden.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Retail Sales - March 2012

Retail Sales - March 2012: Contains a first estimate of retail sales in volume and value terms, seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

European retail property volumes fall 60% in Q1

European retail property volumes fall 60% in Q1: European retail real estate volumes during the first three months of 2012 fell 60% compared with the same period the year before, according to Jones...

London is Number One Target for International Retailers

London is Number One Target for International Retailers: London, 18 April 2011 – London has reclaimed the number one position as the most targeted market for international retailers, according to the 2012 edition of How Global is the Business of Retail? by leading global property adviser CBRE.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Young Shrewsbury Town duo earn deals

Young Shrewsbury Town duo earn deals: Two Shrewsbury Town youngsters have earned professional contracts for next season.

UK inflation overshoot extends - what's the excuse now?

UK inflation overshoot extends - what's the excuse now?:
March CPI figures confirm the prospect of another big Bank of England inflation forecasting miss in 2012. The projection here that CPI inflation will finish the year at about 2.75% may now be too low. This projection implies that December inflation will be above the 2% target for a seventh consecutive year, with a cumulative overshoot of 7.5% since the remit was switched from RPIX to CPI at the end of 2003.

The current overshoot, moreover, cannot be attributed to the various “temporary price level factors” cited by the Bank’s Governor in his unbroken sequence of nine explanatory letters since February 2010, just after a speech in which he suggested a looser interpretation of the remit – dubbed here as “inflation targeting lite” and judged to represent an effective raising of the target from 2% to 3%.

March CPI inflation of 3.5% was in line with the consensus estimate but follows a significant “upside surprise” in February. The first-quarter outturn of 3.5% compares with a Bank projection of 3.35% in the February 2012 Inflation Report. A year earlier, the Bank expected inflation to be down to 2.86% by the first quarter (mean forecast based on unchanged policy).

The high reading can no longer be blamed on VAT or other indirect tax effects. The CPI excluding indirect taxes – CPIY – also rose by 3.5% in the year to March.

Part of the overshoot is explained by food and energy prices – CPI inflation excluding unprocessed food and energy was 2.9% in March. This boost, however, appears to reflect domestic pressures in these sectors rather than global commodity price developments. The S&P GSCI all-commodities spot index rose by only 1.2% in sterling terms in the year to March, down from 26.2% in the prior 12 months.

The Bank has also previously cited manufactured import price rises related to sterling weakness as a contributor to the inflation overshoot. The pound’s effective rate, however, rose by 1.5% between March 2011 and March 2012.

The February 2012 Report forecast a fall in CPI inflation to 1.87% in the fourth quarter of 2012 and 1.61% in the first quarter of 2013, based importantly on a slowdown in “core” inflation in response to assumed economic slack and better productivity performance. There is little evidence of such a decline in recent data: the CPI excluding unprocessed food and energy, incorporating adjustments for VAT changes and seasonal effects, rose at a 2.9% annualised rate between the third quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012 – see chart.

The forecast here remains that CPI inflation will finish 2012 at about 2.75%, based on a small easing of core price momentum and broad stability of commodity prices and the exchange rate. Recent core resilience suggests upside risk to this projection.

The vanishing prospect of a return to target this year will be a particular disappointment to the Bank’s leading dove, Adam Posen, who, in a Guardian interview in March 2011, predicted that inflation would tumble to 1.5% by the middle of 2012 and stated that: “If I have made the wrong call, not only will I switch my vote, I would not pursue a second term.”

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Agent Provocateur SS12 collection

With summer just around the corner Agent Provocateur are helping everyone get into summer seductive mode with their colourful SS12 collection.

Here are a few of their best sellers that are sure to get everyone in the mood for summer fun:

Rizzo Bra – £85

Rizzo Bra 228x300 Agent Provocatuer
SS12 Best Sellers

Rizzo Thong – £45

rizzo pants 227x300 Agent Provocatuer
SS12 Best Sellers

Lorna Bra – £85

lorna 222x300 Agent Provocatuer SS12
Best Sellers

Konchita Bra – £65

Konchita bra 234x300 Agent Provocatuer
SS12 Best Sellers

Rowana Bra – £110

rowana bra 232x300 Agent Provocatuer
SS12 Best Sellers

Rowana Big Brief – £145

pants 221x300 Agent Provocatuer SS12
Best Sellers

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Sharp rise in major Retail Administrations cost 3,500 jobs

Proposed job losses and store closures increased in sharply January as difficult economic conditions and squeezed household budgets pushed the likes of Peacocks and Bonmarché, La Senza and Pumpkin Patch into administration.

According to the latest research conducted by The Retail Database’s Administration Watch, job losses directly associated with these January administrations are estimated to be around 3,516, a 360% rise on December and more than ten times higher that January 2011.

Simon Wallace, Managing Economist at The Retail Database, said: “Rising job losses on the high street form part of a vicious cycle of higher unemployment, low confidence and falling consumer spending.”

The results from Administration Watch showed an estimated 295 stores have closed, or are in the process of closing, as a result of administration – a 900% rise on January 2011.

“Although we expect January to be the high point for retail administrations, conditions on the high street will remain difficult and further failures by major retailer should be expected” said Simon Wallace.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Retail Administrations Cost 15,000 Jobs in 2011

The number of major high street administrations surged in 2011, creating a sharp increase in both store closures and job losses. 

According to research conducted by The Retail Database for its new Administration Watch, in 2011 major high street multiples closed a total of 909 stores as a result of falling into administration - a 144% increase on the previous year. 

The corresponding loss of jobs, inclusive of head office and warehouse positions, was estimated to be 14,892 - a 210% increase on 2010. The sharper rise in job losses compared to store closures in part reflects the closure of large scale stores such as TJ Hughes, in which the shutting of one unit not only leaves a large hole in the high street, it also leaves a much larger number of people out of work. 

Despite a marked downturn in the economy during the second half of the year, Junewas the worst month for retail failures with the likes of Habitat, Jane Norman and TJ Hughes falling into administration, leading to a large number of store closures and job losses. 

The outlook for 2012 is one of continued difficulty for the retailing sector. January has already seen some high profile casualties in the form of La Senza, Peacocks, Pumpkin Patch, Blacks / Millets and Past Times. Although not all store closures and job losses associated with these administrations have been decided yet, the figures for this month have already surpassed January 2011.

Administration graph

Saturday, 7 January 2012

London 2012 - Merchandise licensee order-books closing soon

The Olympic Games will be a great opportunity for retailers both small and large to capitalise upon thousands of people coming to the UK to watch and enjoy the Olympic experience.

With the production of official London 2012 Olympic merchandise closely controlled by licence, shops will have to order products from a small list of official suppliers.

However, with unprecedented demand, many of these suppliers will soon by closing their order books.  According to London 2012, if retailers haven't placed their order by the end of February they are likely to completely miss out on any official merchandise.

Although I'm sure that all of the big high street stores will be well aware of this, but many smaller retailers won't be. As someone who grew up near Much Wenlock in Shropshire (the birthplace of the modern Olympics), I know that many of the small independent shops on the high street are hoping for a bonanza year, as tourists from home and abroad flock into the town to enjoy the Olympic experience and the many events being held in the lead up to the Games.  It would be a terrible shame if these small shops missed out on this opportunity.

Much Wenlock High Street
For more information about which companies have licences to product official Olympic merchandise: