Thursday 18th Oct 2018
Vincent Reboul, managing director of Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance, comments on September’s ONS retail sales figures.
The figures show that overall sales fell by 0.8% in September 2018, with sales in food stores falling 1.5%. However, watches and jewellery saw strong sales, with sales rising by 2%.
Vincent says: “A sharp drop in September sales will raise questions about the sector’s overall resilience following a Summer which exceeded expectations through good weather and World Cup fever. With today’s CPI figures pointing to yet another hefty business rates hit in April, retailers are in desperate need of good news ahead of Christmas and into the New Year.
“On a positive note, our own research found that, fortunately, many retail sectors are proactively looking for solutions. Over a third (36%) of respondents are driving innovation by focusing primarily on technology as a key business investment.
“It was particularly interesting to see the watches and jewellery sector perform so strongly in the three months to September with sales rising by 2%. Our research showed that the jewellery sector is particularly forward-thinking, with more than 85% of jewellers planning on investing in automation within the next 12 months and 69% either using or planning to use blockchain.”
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