It’s no secret that 2018 was a challenging year for retail, from shop closures to Brexit and the weather having an impact on footfall on the high street. Now the results are in for the important Christmas period.
Today on what’s being called ‘Super Thursday’ (10 January) Tesco, John Lewis and M&S among others report on their Christmas figures.
- Lidl sales were up 16% on the same period last year
- Aldi had its best-ever Christmas trading with sales up 10%
- Morrison’s announced 3.6% like-for-like Christmas growth
- Tesco also beat the odds with a 2.2% rise in UK sales, with its performance in non-food categories e.g. clothes and general merchandise ahead of its competitors and the wider market
- John Lewis Christmas sales were up 1.4% on the same period last year (however their annual staff bonus is under threat for the first time since 1953)
- Selfridges also reported that sales were up 8% in December
- Marks and Spencer reported a fall in sales of 2.2%
- Debenhams saw sales fall 5.7% in the 18 weeks to 5 January
- Mothercare’s Christmas sales fell 11.4%, including – unusually – their online sales
- Sainsbury reported a fall in sales of 1.1%
- Grocery sales growth also slowed to +1.8% as consumer shopping habits change
Decreasing footfall on the high street has been an ongoing story of 2018 but this comes with opportunities for Post Office.
As more and more of us choose to shop online, the returns and collections market continues to grow and it’s more important than ever for us to make the most of this opportunity.
The results are also not the same across the country – for example Northern Ireland saw a sustained footfall growth of 2.7% in November 2018.
So there are reasons to be optimistic going into 2019, particularly as the January sales continue with the chance to maximise the opportunity in mails.