Insights Hub

A week on the high street - 27th July 2022
Date published: Date modified: 2022-07-27


Total retail sales volume dropped 0.1% in June following a 0.8% decline in May. According to the latest ONS data, food sales increased 1.2% while non-food sales dropped 0.7% and online sales fell 3.7% over the month. Discretionary spending saw the biggest decreases in the clothing (-4.7%) and homewares (3.7%) categories as the cost-of-living crisis continued to impact consumers. British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson said of the data: “Retailers are squeezed between higher costs and weaker demand, resulting in the most challenging trading period since the start of the pandemic… there is a clear opportunity [for the government] to remove some of the burden on retailers that limits their ability to absorb more of the incoming costs.”

The British Retail Consortium warns that transitional relief could cost the retail sector £1bn over the next three years. The trade body has cautioned that retailers are already struggling with growing costs and will increasingly have to pass costs onto the consumer if the downwards phasing component of transitional relief is not addressed. Tom Ironside, director of business and regulation at the BRC, said: “The business rates system is damaging our high streets and town centres by directly undermining store viability… This is directly contributing to the loss of shops and jobs, particularly in many of the parts of the UK in need of ‘levelling up’ and putting additional pressure on prices.”

Frasers Group has planned further store openings and acquisitions after a post-lockdown boost in profits. The group have forecasted further growth in profits despite the increased cost of construction and therefore store fit-outs and price rises from brands. As part of expansion plans, Frasers Group said it would double the size of its Flannels portfolio to 100 stores in the UK and Ireland, with the first Irish Flannels stores to open in Dublin, Blanchardstown and Cork.


Redevelopment plans for the Heal’s building on London’s Tottenham Court Road have been revealed by General Projects. The real estate developer, in conjunction with KKR, will convert the building into a mixed-use development. Heal’s will occupy the ground and lower ground retail space with a new fit-out, with the upper floors becoming modern workspaces. The development will be rebranded as The Manufactory, a reference to the Grade II listed building’s history as a former factory. Work has already begun on the development, with some office space set to complete in the coming weeks, and further space to be available in 2023.

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