Retail Sector Update – September
Retail footfall has continued to fall as August saw a drop of 1.6%. This is the worst result since April. The high street declined by 2% after three months of growth. Footfall was down 2.4% in shopping centres, which was an improvement on the 3.4% fall in July.
As high street retailers struggle with declining sales, department stores are looking for points of difference to stand out against competitors. Harvey Nichols and John Lewis & Partners have branched out into personal styling services. Debenhams have joined up with online furniture brand Swoon to offer a selection of their products in Westfield White City and Reading stores. Debenhams are also opening Sweat! Gyms in three stores and talking to WeWork to open flexible office space in their London flagship store.
Online sales for Next are on track to overtake in-store sales for the first time. As a result, the company will focus on digital advertising, doubling spend in 2019 at the expense of ATL. Marks & Spencer’s are also focusing more on digital: their restructured Clothing and Home team have ditched broadcast spend in a digital-first product-focused campaign.
Radio giants Global have made a surprise move by acquiring both Primesight and Outdoor Plus as it looks to become a major competitor in the OOH arena. The new business will work separately to the radio business, but will act as leverage for the already established Global brand to offer “smart opportunities” to advertisers in the future.
PAMCo has released its first digital engagement figures revealing how readers feel about the content they engage with online. The Guardian scored highest against trust whilst readers of The Sun are the least trusting of their newspaper’s digital content.
Media Account Manager