Updated: 9th December 2019
On the whole, 2019 has been yet another troubled year for retail. We said goodbye to some long-established names on our high street such as Thomas Cook and Mothercare, while others were saved from the brink of going under just in time.
Where there are those that have suffered, however, there are also those who are defying the gloom pervading the high street, managing to thrive under these challenging conditions. Their success not only shows that there is still a desire from shoppers for the physical retail store, but that there is also still money to be made on the high street for retailers who can offer the shopping environment consumers want.
- Aldi and Lidl – The growing popularity of the two German discounters shows no signs of fading just yet. Collectively they generated more than £1bn in sales over last year and both have clocked up double digit growth in terms of market share this year.
Last Christmas was Aldi’s best ever, enjoying a 10% increase in sales from the previous Christmas, and it appears the food retailer has carried this momentum through to 2019, overtaking Co-Op to be the fifth biggest supermarket in the UK. However, Aldi’s growth has come at a cost as investments in opening new stores and upgrading existing ones have hit profits.
Likewise Lidl have had a successful year up £1.6bn in sales during the 12 weeks up to September 6th. Looking to the future, the grocery chain have placed a huge focus on gaining market share by growing its presence across the country through the planned opening of 230 new stores over the next three years.
The grocery market is a sector which continues to grow, up 1.2% in the third quarter of 2019 which will be music to the ears of both Aldi and Lidl and their ambitious expansion plans.
- JD Sports – Athleisure, that is sportswear which is designed for everyday use instead of just exercise, is big business. Sales are expected to grow by 20.9% by 2023, generating £6.7bn and outperforming all other retail sectors in the process, and when it comes to the UK market, JD Sports looks to be in pole position to capitalise on this boom.
Like many in this marketplace JD Sports offer premium brands as well as the latest releases, however, where they differ is the environment in which they are displayed. With many retailers struggling with falling footfall as shoppers turn to online platforms, JD Sports have revamped their stores to bring the online experience to the high street.
Technology pervades the stores with interactive mirrors, iPads, and digital advertisement screens helping to bridge the gap between online and offline, all making for a thoroughly modern shopping experience. These initiatives appear to be working as the company have enjoyed a 49.2% increase in sales this year.