Gloucester Quays sales give reasons for optimism
By Rob Freeman | 9th October 2020
Gloucester Quays outperformed retail figures across the country in August with trading up by more than 40 per cent on pre-Covid levels.
Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics showed there was a 2.5 per cent increase in spending across the UK compared with February - although total retail spend was down 4.8 per cent on 2019.
The Quays has outstripped those figures with sales well up on February, helped by the Government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme attracting visitors to restaurants in the Docks.
Jason Pullen, managing director of operators Lifestyle Outlets, believes the figures could be early indicators of a shift to value-led shopping and increased consumer confidence.
He said: "August was a very encouraging month at Gloucester Quays. While Eat Out to Help Out helped to drive footfall back to the centre, spending was not limited to food and beverage - trading figures comparative to February's pre-Covid figures have retail spend up by 42 per cent, which is phenomenal.
"While nationally some fashion retailers are seeing a slow return to conventional bricks and mortar retail, down 15.9 per cent against February in the ONS study, this hasn't been the case for Gloucester Quays with sales from our fashion brands up 40 per cent."
He continued: "This has in part been supported by back to school sales, with footwear retailers such as Clarks accounting for some of this success comparative to February.
"Sportswear and outdoor clothing brands such as Nike, Adidas and The North Face have also performed well as the nation, perhaps understandably, continues to buy comfortable clothing over occasion wear.
"Just like the ONS data for growth in homeware and DIY, our homeware brands also enjoyed success throughout August, up 39 per cent against February's figures so I think we can see this type of spending continue as people ready their homes for Christmas."
Gloucester Quays has welcomed four new brands since reopening in June with Tommy Hilfiger, Beauty Outlet, Molton Brown and Neon Sheep opening their doors.
"This consumer confidence in outlet shopping could well allude to future retail trends, as savvy shoppers look to get the brands they love, without feeling like they're paying for it," said Mr Pullen.
"Our average transaction value per customer has increased, which helps support this notion of frugal shoppers considering where they spend their money for the most reward.
"We're a long way from finished with this pandemic and the impact it will continue to have on retail but hope at the same time, these early indicators could be a sign of better things to come for outlet retail and Gloucester Quays."
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