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Retail developments decline for seventh consecutive year…

According to a new report published by the commercial law firm, EMW, new retail development applications declined by nine per cent in the past year; with a total of 6,700 applications made in 2015, down from 7,360 in 2014.

The sharp decrease in 2015/2016 indicates a fall for the seventh consecutive year and is down by 44 per cent of the number of the pre-recession peak of 11,900 recorded in 2008/2009. EMW said that despite bricks-and-mortar retailers increasingly expanding their online services, many were still failing at the competition with online-only retailers such as ASOS and Amazon. In addition, the law firm also notes that the recent decline of traditional retailers, such as the Morrisons’ convenience store chain, My Local, as well as Austin Reed and BHS, were in part caused by the continued success of online-only brands.

Principal at EMW, Aimee Barrable, commented: “Recent high profile closures will lead to more retail space becoming available on the market. Those retailers still looking to expand their high street presence might look to acquire some of these recently vacated stores instead of applying for any new retail developments.”

She continued: “Also, it may be that many retailers wait before committing to any new shop developments until they have a clearer picture of the economy in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.”

Read more from Aimee Barrable and on the report here

Sales made via mobile fall for the first time this decade, IMRG claims…

Although many retailers have experienced tremendous increases in the interaction of mobile sales — such as The Entertainer which accomplished a reported overall rise of 120 per cent based on introducing a personalisation strategy to its email marketing platform — new statistics released by the ‘voice’ of UK e-tailing, the Interactive in Media Retail Group (IMRG) has found that sales made via mobile devices have fallen in the first quarter and is the first recorded decrease since 2010.

According to IMRG, the fall is likely to have been influenced by a ‘marked split’ that has recently been recorded in growth rates on tablets and smartphones. As previously documented, while sales through smartphones were up by 83 per cent in April this year, sales via tablet devices hit a record low with a growth rate of three per cent.

Despite the unpredicted fall, chief information officer at IMRG, Tina Spooner, remains optimistic about mobile bouncing back to its continued succession: “While the majority of these sales still come through tablets, shoppers are increasingly using their smartphones in situations where they would previously have used a tablet – the screen sizes have become larger, retailers have focused on optimising the experience for smartphone users and consumers are becoming increasingly confident in using these devices for a wide range of activities.”

Compared to the previous quarter where 51.3 per cent of retail sales were made via mobile, a two per cent decrease to 49.6 per cent was indicated in Q1 2016; as well as a one per cent decline in the number of sales from online retail websites directed via mobile, from 65.5 per cent in Q4 2015 to 64.6 per cent in Q1 2016.