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Deloitte response to ONS retail sales figures

20 September 2012

Commenting on today’s retail sales figures published by the ONS, Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte, said:  “Today’s figures suggest that for some retailers, the Olympic summer didn’t meet expectations.  In our most recent survey of national retailers, 49% said that London 2012 had resulted in an increase in demand, whilst 33% reported a decline.  Whilst this suggests a net benefit, at least for our sample group, it falls short of the expectations retailers had when surveyed at the start of the year. In January, 84% were expecting a boost in demand from the Games, compared with just 2% fearing a decrease.

“As we approach the ‘golden quarter’, it is apparent that Christmas will once again be tough for the industry.  There is little evidence to suggest that conditions will improve dramatically any time soon.  However, there will always be winners and losers in retail and it is increasingly true that the winners are those retailers that get their strategy right across stores, online and mobile.  Mobile in particular is growing in influence and represents an opportunity for retailers to create a distinctive experience for their customers and take market share.

“Almost half of UK smartphone owners have used their device to research product information before or during a shopping trip.  As a result, around 6% of in-store retail sales are being influenced by smartphone use, equivalent to more than £15bn of sales this year.  This is almost double the value of direct purchases made through mobiles which are estimated at around £1bn in 2012.  By 2016, more than 80% of consumers are expected to own a smartphone and Deloitte estimates that between 15% and 18% of in-store sales will be smartphone-influenced, equivalent to £35-43bn. Smartphone usage also appears to increase the conversion rates for retailers.  74% of shoppers that visited a retailer’s mobile website or app during their most recent shopping trip made a purchase, compared with 66% that didn’t.”


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