Blog Posts

We know that the summer's here and that most people are going to be out in the sun or taking holidays but here at Competitor Price Watch, we're not going anywhere because we are dedicated to bringing everybody the latest news and updates about the country's spending habits as detailed by the good people at the Office of National Statistics.

This month makes particularly interesting reading as things are starting to slow down in certain areas. For example, the Main Points of interest are -

- In May 2017, the quantity bought in the retail industry was estimated to have increased by 0.9% compared with May 2016; the annual growth rate was last lower in April 2013.

- Non-food stores were the main contributing factors to this slowdown with an annual fall of 1.2% and predominantly food stores saw the lowest annual growth since July 2013 at 0.1%.

- Month-on-month, the quantity bought was estimated to have fallen by 1.2% following strong growth in April 2017.

- The underlying pattern, as measured by the 3 month on 3 month change showed growth of 0.6% in May 2017.

- Average store prices (excluding fuel) increased by 2.8% on the year; the largest growth since March 2012.

So, what can be causing this lack of spending? Are people saving up for those holidays we mentioned earlier? Are they just not buying anything in the face of an uncertain future? We're not saying that people are getting ready for the zombie apocalypse or anything (which would probably be indicated by mass panic buying and these figures looking quite good for one last time) but it does suggest that there is an air of cautiousness about our purchasing habits.

But what has been going on in the online markets? Has the trend to slow down been as evident? Well, the following table can tell us all about that -

CategoryYear-on-year growthSales as a proportion of all retailing
All retailing14.015.0
All food6.75.0
All non-food12.411.0
Department stores6.912.8
Textile, clothing and footwear stores14.714.4
Household goods stores0.29.4
Other stores26.28.0
Non-store retailing17.478.7
Source: Monthly Business Survey – Retail Sales Inquiry - Office for National Statistics

Which shows that even the previously positive growth of the online market is falling behind. It's still accounting for 15% of all retail spend but people are obviously being more careful with their money.

This means that they will be shopping around and looking at all the prices before making a decision and online retailers need to make sure that they are priced as competitively as possible if they want to keep their customers.

Competitor Price Watch is here to help you make sure that things don't get too hot for you.
It’s that time again where your friends at Competitor Price Watch trawl through the information supplied by the Office of National Statistics to let you know where people are spending their money when it comes to retail.

For April 2017, the Main Points of interest are that –

- In April 2017, the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 2.3% compared with March 2017 and by 4.0% compared with April 2016.

- The underlying pattern, as measured by the 3 month on 3 month estimate, showed a slight increase in April 2017 following a short period of contraction, increasing by 0.3%.

- Anecdotal evidence from retailers suggests that good weather contributed to growth.

- Average prices slowed slightly in April 2017, falling from 3.3% in March to 3.1% in April.

We know that you will have been paying attention and, probably, keeping notes, so you will know that the first few months of the year showed a slow down in spending. Whether this was a reaction to the Brexit situation or a reflection of the fact that people got everything that they wanted for Christmas, we may never now but it would appear that more money is now being spent again. Perhaps it’s time to start shopping for beachwear…

“But what about online?” We hear you cry. Well, we can tell you that the average weekly spend is up by 19% on the same time last year and people are now spending £1.0 billion every week. That makes up 15.6% of all retail spending.

So, the Internet is quickly becoming the place to sell. You might be wondering which would be the best area to sell in. Well…

CategoryYear-on-year growthSales as a proportion of all retailing
All retailing19.015.6
All food17.65.1
All non-food10.411.4
Department stores8.513.4
Textile, clothing and footwear stores11.714.1
Household goods stores9.29.9
Other stores11.38.6
Non-store retailing25.677.8
Source: Monthly Business Survey – Retail Sales Inquiry - Office for National Statistics

We know that we say this every month but if you want to know just how important it is to get your prices right and how to know what everybody else is selling for, we are here ready and willing to help.

Just give Competitor Price Watch a call and will delighted to speak with you.

As the year marches on, Competitor Price Watch thought that it was time to bring you latest updates from the Office of National Statistics which cover the Sales by retailers for the previous month.

The Main Points to consider for March 2017 are:

- The 3 months to March shows a decrease of 1.4%; the third consecutive decrease for the underlying 3 month on 3 month pattern.

- Looking at the quarterly movement, the 3 months to March 2017 (Quarter 1) is the first quarterly decline since 2013 (Quarter 4).

- In March 2017, the quantity bought in the retail industry is estimated to have increased by 1.7% compared with March 2016 and decreased by 1.8% compared with February 2017; decreases are seen across the four main store types.

- Average store prices (including fuel) increased by 3.3% on the year, the largest growth since March 2012; the largest contribution came from petrol stations, where year-on-year average prices rose by 16.4%.

- Online sales (excluding automotive fuel) increased year-on-year by 19.5% and by 0.5% on the month, accounting for approximately 15.5% of all retail spending.

Taking the first point that overall spending has decreased again and comparing this with the fact that the last point indicates that Online spending has been increasing both in month and in year, this would suggest that people are abandoning the high street for the digital world.

But where is that money being spent?

CategoryYear-on-year growthSales as a proportion of all retailing
All retailing19.515.5
All food19.25.0
All non-food20.412.0
Department stores13.613.7
Textile, clothing and footwear stores28.115.0
Household goods stores15.910.6
Other stores20.09.0
Non-store retailing19.076.3
Source: Monthly Business Survey – Retail Sales Inquiry - Office for National Statistics

This shows that 15.5 percent of all retailing is now carried out on the Internet. This is a figure that is growing month on month taking money and focus from the traditional shops and pouring it into new and highly competitive market places.

If you want to steal a march on all of the other retailers out there and make sure that you secure as much of this extra money as possible, you’re going to need help making sure that you have set your prices just right.

Luckily, Competitor Price Watch is here to help. You’d have to be as mad as a March hare not to call us.
With spring just around the corner and the clocks going forward this weekend, it’s only natural that the lighter nights make all of us here at Competitor Price Watch turn our thoughts toward the Office of National Statistics

Well, we can tell you that the Main Points of the February review are –

- Estimates of the quantity bought in retail sales increased by 3.7% compared with February 2016 and increased by 1.4% compared with January 2017; this monthly growth is seen across all store types.

- The underlying pattern as suggested by the 3 month on 3 month movement decreased by 1.4% for the second month in a row; the largest decrease since March 2010 and only the second fall since December 2013.

- Average store prices (including fuel) increased by 2.8% on the year, the largest growth since March 2012; the largest contribution came from petrol stations, where year-on-year average prices rose by 18.7%.

- Online sales (excluding automotive fuel) increased year-on-year by 20.7% and by 3.3% on the month, accounting for approximately 15.3% of all retail spending.

We do, however, need to narrow this down to the really important section of the report which is, of course, the Internet sales.

In February 2017, the average weekly spending online was £1.0 billion; an increase of 20.7% compared with February 2016 whist the amount spent online accounted for 15.3% of all retail spending, excluding automotive fuel, compared with 13.3% in February 2016

The breakdown of these figures looks like -

CategoryYear-on-year growthSales as a proportion of all retailing
All retailing20.715.3
All food14.04.9
All non-food15.511.4
Department stores10.413.7
Textile, clothing and footwear stores12.514.5
Household goods stores23.110.5
Other stores20.28.0
Non-store retailing26.675.3
Source: Monthly Business Survey – Retail Sales Inquiry - Office for National Statistics

Going back to one of the points in there, we would like to highlight the fact that over 15% of all retail spending was done online! £1 Billion per week. That’s a lot of people looking for the best deal on price.

Competitor Price Watch is here to help you get as large a percentage of that billion pounds a week as we can.

Give us a call – We’re waiting to spring into action!
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!