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As has become our habit here at Competitor Price Watch, we have been looking over the statistics of Retail Sales from the Office of National Statistics and then passing on the good bits to our loyal reader(s). We have the January figures now and we think that people have been making some money-saving New Year's Resolutions.

Main Points for Retail Overall

In January 2017, the quantity bought in the retail industry is estimated to have increased by 1.5% compared with January 2016, the lowest growth since November 2013.

Month-on-month the quantity bought is estimated to have fallen by 0.3%.

The underlying pattern as suggested by the 3 month on 3 month movement decreased by 0.4%; the first fall since December 2013.

Average store prices (including fuel) increased by 1.9% on the year, the largest contribution to this increase came from petrol stations, where year-on-year average prices were estimated to have risen by 16.1%.

Online sales (excluding fuel) increased by 10.1% year-on-year, but fell on the month by 7.2%; accounting for approximately 14.6% of all retail spending.

Main Points of Internet Retail Sales

The average weekly spending online was £1.0 billion; an increase of 10.1% compared with January 2016; the smallest year-on-year growth since August 2015

The amount spent online accounted for 14.6% of all retail spending, excluding automotive fuel, compared with 13.6% in January 2016

Summary of internet statistics, November 2016

Value seasonally adjusted, percentage rates for Great Britain

CategoryYear-on-year growthSales as a proportion of all retailing
All retailing10.114.6
All food14.15.1
All non-food13.311.1
Department stores19.713.7
Textile, clothing and footwear stores9.714.2
Household goods stores11.89.7
Other stores13.37.5
Non-store retailing6.772.9
Source: Monthly Business Survey – Retail Sales Inquiry - Office for National Statistics

So, there we go. Whether this is a result of the Brexit situation finally having an effect or a reaction to the new orange face of politics in the USA, we couldn't say but things are not as shiny as once they were. With spending slowing down and people being more careful with their money, retailers need to be more certain than ever before that their prices are going to attract as many people as possible. When you consider that the online market is still growing despite the rest of the market slowing down, the online retailers in particular need to keep on top of their prices and make sure that they are competitive.

Competitor Price Watch is waiting to hear from you!
Following an investigation by the BBC, it has been revealed that 66% of the Tesco stores visited were still displaying expired offers on their shelves but charging the full price at the tills.

Some of the examples that were highlighted are –

Rustlers Chicken Sub: Offer price - Two for £3 (original price £2.31 each) Price paid at till - £4.62

Schwartz Barbecue Sauce Mix: Offer price - Two for £1 (original price 85p each) Price paid at till - £1.70

Old El Paso Guacamole: Offer price - Two for £2.50 (original price £2.09 each) Price paid at till - £4.18

With some staff openly admitting that the offer prices were out of date and that they just didn’t have enough staff members to swap the tickets over, it does highlight a serious problem and goes to show that people are very interested in the price that they pay and will make their dissatisfaction known if they think that they are not getting value for money.

The good news, if we read between the lines, is that this only affects the physical shops and not the online prices. This may well be another push for people to shop online as prices on a website can all be changed at the click of a button and as often as the retailer needs to.

But how would an online retailer know when to change their prices and what to change them to? You don’t want to be too expensive as people will complain (as we have seen) and you don’t want to be too cheap as you won’t make any money.

As luck would have it, Competitor Price Watch can help you sort through these problems. We can tell you when other people change their prices and to what. With e-mail updates and a large number of online reports, you can be sure that you’ll never be caught out.
Happy New Year from Competitor Price Watch!

Now that the festivities and celebrations are a distant memory, we're back to share the Retail Sales data from the Office of National Statistics because some things are just too interesting to keep to ourselves.

Main Points for Retail Overall

Estimates of the quantity bought in retail sales increased by 4.3% compared with December 2015 and fell by 1.9% compared with November 2016.

The largest contribution to the month-on-month fall came from non-food stores.

The underlying trend remains one of growth with the 3 month on 3 month movement in the quantity bought increasing by 1.2%.

Average store prices increased by 0.9% on the year and for all retailing excluding fuel prices increased by 0.1%; the first increase since June 2014.

Online sales (excluding automotive fuel) increased year-on-year by 21.3%, but fell on the month by 5.3%; accounting for approximately 15% of all retail spending.

Main Points of Internet Retail Sales

average weekly spending online was £1.0 billion; an increase of 21.3% compared with December 2015

the amount spent online accounted for 15.1% of all retail spending, excluding automotive fuel, compared with 13.1% in December 2015

Summary of internet statistics, November 2016

Value seasonally adjusted, percentage rates for Great Britain

CategoryYear-on-year growthSales as a proportion of all retailing
All retailing21.315.1
All food17.05.4
All non-food11.111.2
Department stores8.613.1
Textile, clothing and footwear stores5.514.3
Household goods stores10.39.8
Other stores25.18.1
Non-store retailing31.075.0
Source: Monthly Business Survey – Retail Sales Inquiry - Office for National Statistics

Whilst people are still spending online, that amount that they spend has dipped by 5.3% since November. In year, it's still up by 21.3% but it would appear that people aren't spending quite as freely as they have been. We would have expected the December figures to be an increase on November but either people shopped early or are just watching their pennies.

If it is the latter, then online retailers need to make sure that they are offering the best and most competitive prices that they can.

As luck would have it, Competitor Price Watch is just what you need.
It's time for Competitor Price Watch, to share the Retail Sales data from the Office of National Statistics as we know that you rely on us for such things.

Main Points for Retail Overall

In October 2016, the quantity bought (volume) of retail sales is estimated to have increased by 5.9% compared with November 2015; all store types showed growth with the largest contribution coming again from non-store retailing. Despite including 'Black Friday', this is actually a drop on last month by almost 1.5% in year.

However, the underlying pattern in the retail sector is still growing with the 3 month on 3 month movement in the quantity bought increasing by 2.1% and marking the 35th consecutive month that this has grown.

Average store prices (including petrol stations) increased by 0.1% in November 2016 compared with November 2015; there were falls in average store price across all store types except petrol stations.

The amount spent (value) in the retail industry increased by 5.9% compared with November 2015 and increased by 0.5% compared with October 2016.

The amount spent online increased by 24.9% compared with November 2015 and by 3.0% compared with October 2016.

Main Points of Internet Retail Sales

Average weekly spending online in November 2016 was £1.1 billion; this was an increase of 24.9% compared with November 2015

The amount spent online accounted for 15.8% of all retail spending, excluding automotive fuel, compared with 13.3% in November 2015

Summary of internet statistics, November 2016

Value seasonally adjusted, percentage rates for Great Britain

CategoryYear-on-year growthSales as a proportion of all retailing
All retailing24.915.8
All food23.85.2
All non-food19.812.2
Department stores14.213.5
Textile, clothing and footwear stores14.815.1
Household goods stores33.711.6
Other stores23.08.9
Non-store retailing29.375.6
Source: Monthly Business Survey – Retail Sales Inquiry - Office for National Statistics

Another increase for the online shopping sector with an increase of 24.9% in a year up to £1.1 billion that accounts for 15.8% of all retail. The 'textiles, clothing and footwear' has seen a surge again this month which would suggest that Christmas jumpers are really popular this year!

It would appear, however, that even with the festive season upon us, people's spending be being carefully targeted which does mean that online retailers are going to need to be extra vigilant when it comes to pricing.

Competitor Price Watch is waiting and willing to help.
It's that time again where here at Competitor Price Watch, we are sharing the Retail Sales data from the Office of National Statistics for your information and fascination.

Main Points for Retail Overall

In September 2016, the quantity bought (volume) of retail sales is estimated to have increased by 7.4% compared with October 2015; all store types showed growth with the largest contribution coming again from non-store retailing.

There was no change in the quantity bought compared with August 2016; decreases in food stores, other stores and textile, clothing and footwear stores were offset by increases in department stores, household goods stores and non-store retailers.

The underlying pattern in the retail sector continues to show relatively strong growth with the 3 month on 3 month movement in the quantity bought increasing by 1.9% and marking the 34th consecutive month that this has grown.

Average store prices (including petrol stations) fell by 0.7% in October 2016 compared with October 2015; there were falls in average store price across all store types except petrol stations. This is the smallest decrease since July 2014.

The amount spent (value) in the retail industry increased by 6.6% compared with October 2015 and increased by 2.1% compared with October 2016.

The amount spent online increased by 26.8% compared with October 2015 and by 2.1% compared with September 2016.

Main Points of Internet Retail Sales

Average weekly spending online in September 2016 was £1 billion; this was an increase of 26.08% compared with October 2015

The amount spent online accounted for 15.2% of all retail spending, excluding automotive fuel, compared with 12.7% in October 2015

Summary of internet statistics, October 2016

Value seasonally adjusted, percentage rates for Great Britain

CategoryYear-on-year growthSales as a proportion of all retailing
All retailing26.815.2
All food24.95.0
All non-food19.811.2
Department stores18.513.1
Textile, clothing and footwear stores5.213.3
Household goods stores42.110.2
Other stores31.18.7
Non-store retailing32.577.6
Source: Monthly Business Survey – Retail Sales Inquiry - Office for National Statistics

As can be seen, Online shopping as a whole has increased by 26.8% in a year and now accounts for 15.2% of all retail which is up even on last month. It's good to see that after a slump in October, 'textiles, clothing and footwear' has picked up again, perhaps people buying their Christmas party outfits?

The most interesting statistic for us was the fact that, on average, there was £1 Billion spent every week in October 2016. With that amount of money being spent, every online retailer needs to be sure that their prices are right where they should be.

Competitor Price Watch is waiting and willing to help. Give us a call.