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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!
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.