Stores bear brunt of slowdown as online takes

increased share of sales A

ccording to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG, online took its

largest share of non-food spending yet over the past three months. Covering the four weeks from January 1 to 28, the

figures show that online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 8.0% for the month versus a year earlier, when they had increased by 14.9%. Over the three months to January, online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 8.6% year-on-

year. Over the same period, total non-food sales in the UK grew 0.3%. Over the three month period, £1 in every £4 of non-food sales was spent online. The message of growth is a contrast to in-store sales. Over the three months to January, in-store

sales fell, posting declines of 2.2% on a total basis and 2.4% on a like-for-like basis, the deepest since the BRC’s online monitor started in December 2012. BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson OBE commented: “Online channels achieved the highest

share of total non-food retail spend on record in the three months to January, despite the 8% growth being somewhat below the trend of late. In fact, the rolling twelve-month average growth to January 2017 is the lowest since the monitor began in 2012, falling below double-digits for the first time. “As with total sales, online sales in January were set against a strong comparative period, as January

2016 recorded the highest growth of last year. However, with £1 in every £4 of non-food spending being spent online consistently over the last three months, this provided enough momentum to largely shield online growth from the slowdown of non-food sales overall. It was stores that bore the brunt of the slowdown, posting their deepest three-month decline on record as the demand during retailers’ clearance sales was predominantly online. “As the clearance events came to an end, full price items didn’t attract the same demand, echoing a sense of caution from consumers and ultimately resulting in a quiet end to the month for many retailers.” • For the full story, head to slowdown-as-online-takes-increased-share-of-sales/

Montpellier appoints new marketing manager


he former marketing manager of three years for Domestic Appliance Distributors, Gabriella Fryer,

has returned from maternity leave and now joins Montpellier Domestic Appliances at its new offices in Tewkesbury to head up its marketing team, the company has announced. She replaces Gary Millar, who joined the company as head of marketing in October 2015. Gabriella (pictured) commented: “It’s an incredibly

exciting time to be moving within the white goods industry. Montpellier has grown significantly within the last year and I’m looking forward to taking the helm of the marketing team to support our sales strategy. “Our product range is growing rapidly with constant R&D,

customer service and retail support being our main focuses. Up until recently, we’ve been one of the industry’s best-kept secrets. This year, if you haven’t found out who we are yet, it will beg the question, ‘Where have you been?’”

EPE Group looks to target MDA market B

randed small domestic

appliances and floorcare distributor EPE Group has revealed plans to grow its business by supplying major domestic appliances to customers. Bradford-based

distributor EPE Group was founded in 2003 and has grown annual turnover to around £20 million.

EPE finance and operations director Harry Singh said: “I am delighted with the progress made by EPE since its formation in 2003. Moving into the major domestic appliance market gives the company another area of the industry to target. “Despite economic uncertainty in 2016,

there was continued market improvement and we anticipate a similar pattern of growth to continue in 2017. The recession is now a distant memory to consumers, many of whom have seen an increase in disposable income, and retailers and manufacturers should now be feeling the benefits. “Further, with the recent drastic improvement in the housing market, confidence has spread to the contract market, as the demand for new housing continues to look strong for 2017.” There remains belief that homeowners will continue to invest in appliances, EPE adds, especially those offering multifunctionality at accessible price points. Harry added: “Following the political

occurrences of 2016, consumer confidence has been shaken. However, despite a significant decrease in the index, consumers remained resilient on spending. “Homeowners are still willing to refurbish and

renovate their homes and indulge in appliances which not only tick all of the boxes, but also exceed consumer expectations. The recession spawned a smarter and savvier consumer, expecting more for their money – quality, well- made and multifunctional products from brands that offer unrivalled customer service and go that extra mile. “I look forward to talking to major domestic appliance brands that are interested in working with a distributor that continues to supply a wide range of retailers from nationals and multiples to department stores and independents.”

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February 2017

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