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Retail uplift across Europe

Consumer confidence and falling unemployment beat Q3 political turbulence


DESPITE a turbulent quarter politically across Europe, retailers have generally done well in the region to achieve a 0.5 per cent uplift in traffic into stores and shopping centres.

However, the European Shopper Trends Report Q3 2017 from Shoppertrak has shows that of the nine countries monitored, only the UK and Switzerland didn’t see year-on-year growth.
The winners for the third quarter of the year were Italy with a 2.6 per cent rise YOY, Poland was up 2.1% and Spain saw a one per cent increase, with consumer confidence, falling unemployment figures and visitor traffic numbers delivering good results for retailers.
The report shows that a busy summer of tourism spending had many countries in the region reporting positive retail sales growth as a result, notably Portugal and Spain.
Politically it has been a difficult time with Spain’s terrorist attacks in Barcelona’s busiest shopping area in August and new governments reviewing economic policy in Italy, Ireland and France, plus the spectre of Brexit looming large across these economies.
Irish retailers achieved a 0.2 per cent year-on-year increase with September as their busiest months at 1.3 per cent following well-executed back-to-school campaigns and interest in autumn and winter clothing.
Shoppertrak said the ongoing effort of driving investment in people skills, refurbishments and technology, with public money being ploughed into the retail sector, looks able to sustain a buzz in Irish stores into Q4.
In the UK, retail sales for August smashed expectations, growing well above the consensus forecast of 0.2%, and providing a boost for the pound but Q3 store traffic was down by 2.3 per cent overall, with each month of July, August and September marginally down versus 2016.
However, despite a dip in traffic volumes, retail sales climbed by one per cent between July and August, with equal rises in both volume and value of sales indicating that consumers were not put off by having to spend more in order to bring home less.
For the European Shopper Trends Report, ShopperTrak collect data on consumer trends and analyse the influences behind them. To find out more about how economic, social, cultural and political events are impacting your region, visit their online trends centre.

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