A week on the high street - 6th September 2022
Date published: Date modified: 2022-09-06


The latest Barclaycard spending data from August reveals collapsing demand for clothing, DIY and beauty products amid the cost of living crisis. Average spend on utility bills hit a 45.2% increase on the same period last year as inflation reached a 40-year high, leading to reduced discretionary spending across UK households. Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said that PM Liz Truss “will be dealing with an economy that is facing a heightened risk of recession, a deteriorating labour market and persistent elevated price pressures linked to the soaring cost of energy”.

The number of retail mergers and acquisitions has increased by 21% in the last year, according to law firm RPC. Four of the nine retail deals that took place in Q2 2022 involved the acquisition of a struggling retailer, including Morrisons’ acquisition of McColl’s. RPC co-head of retail Karen Hendy commented: “There are understandable concerns over whether retailers are going to able to pass on the sharp increases in their costs to customers and concerns over the depth of any recession which is leading to greater consolidation. We’re also seeing more partnerships where one retail brand takes space within another group’s stores.”


Over 70% of pub operators do not expect to make it through the winter trading period without Government support. According to the Morning Advertiser survey, more than 65% of respondents saw utility costs increase by over 100%, while 8% reported increases of more than 500%. Operators are urgently calling for measures including an energy price cap for businesses and reductions in VAT and business rates.

Patisserie Valerie is to close nine sites which have failed to recover following the pandemic. Sites include three in Belfast and others in England and Scotland. The closures will bring the brand’s estate to 30 sites, down from nearly 200 in 2017. The company will continue to grow through its online cake delivery service and wholesale partnership with Sainsbury’s.

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