This week in retail - 4 April 2019

This week in retail - 4 April 2019

Business rates cuts, Aldi and vaping, we take a look at what’s been happening in the world of retail and how it affects Post Office. 

£500m business rates cut for high street shops and pubs

Last year the government announced business rates discounts for small high street properties. Small shops in England with a rateable value below £51,000 should see savings of nearly £4,000 in their business rates bills for 2019-20. 

UK food prices reach highest rate of inflation in 5 years

Due to extreme weather last year (from early 2018’s Beast from the East to the summer heatwave) and cereal cost increases, food inflation rose to 2.5% in March 2019, the highest inflation rate since November 2013. 

Boots takes steps to reduce costs

Sales in the first quarter of this year were down 2.3% and the owner of the pharmacy chain has warned of possible store closures as part of “significant restructuring” to cut costs. 

Vaping predicted to be worth £2.5bn by 2025

Take advantage of the opportunity – over half of shoppers first buy vapes and vaping equipment from newsagents and convenience stores. Find out more and read top tips from other retailers here.

Aldi sees double-digit sales growth

The discount supermarket was the only grocer to see more than 10% sales growth last month. This puts its market share at 8%, close behind Morrison’s. This year’s later Easter has had a significant impact on sales.

What does it mean for Post Office?

The high street has faced challenges over the last few years, but the cuts in business rates are likely to be a welcome relief for many small shop owners in England. Plus the vaping trend looks set to continue which provides a number of retail opportunities for Post Offices with a retail offering. And finally, Aldi’s continued sales success suggests that customers still see good value as a priority.