Shopper numbers across Britain rose 0.5% in the week to 15 May versus the previous week, ahead of Monday's reopening of indoor hospitality which is expected to bring a further boost to footfall, researcher Springboard said on Monday. The increase was the first in four weeks. Springboard said shopper numbers on UK high streets rose 3.9% but were down 3.4% in retail parks and down 2.8% in shopping centres. "The result was largely a result of a bounce back from a drop in shopper activity that occurred over the bank holiday weekend the week before," said Diane Wehrle, Springboard's insights director. Non-essential stores reopened in England and Wales on 12 April after more than three months of COVID-19 lockdown. They reopened in Scotland on 26 April and Northern Ireland on 30 April. Hospitality has now also opened up further.
Aldi Denmark has reported a full-year deficit of DKK 342 million (€46 million) in full-year 2020, an improvement on its 2019 performance, as the discounter continues to seek to "plug the hole", according to its CEO, Finn Tang, reports esmmagazine.com. The discounter's 2020 performance is DKK 170 million (€22.9 million), or 33%, stronger than the previous year, with revenue and earnings showing a 'marked improvement' over the course of the year, it said, while also noting the positive benefit of the pandemic on grocery sales. 'However, the positive development does not change the fact that Aldi Denmark is seen to deliver a significant deficit in 2020.'
The luxury goods sector could shrug off the hit from the coronavirus crisis as early as this year as Chinese and U.S. shoppers help sales recover to pre-pandemic levels, consultancy Bain said on Monday. Bain now sees a 30% probability that sales of high-end handbags, clothes and jewellery will return to or exceed their 2019 level of €280 billion ($340 billion) this year, depending on how quickly vaccines are rolled out and tourism picks up. Its more likely scenario is for a full rebound in 2022, which would still imply a faster convalescence than Bain predicted in November when it said the sector may have to wait until 2023 to put the crisis squarely behind it. Luxury goods sales fell by 23% to €217 billion last year, their largest-ever drop and the first decline since 2009, as the pandemic forced shop closures and brought international tourism to a virtual halt. But the crisis does not seem to have had a lasting impact on consumers' appetite and spending power for high-end wares.
Imperial Brands reported higher half-year sales on Tuesday, as the tobacco company benefited from an uptake in e-cigarettes and tobacco-heating products in the United States and Europe, and said it was on track to meet its annual outlook. The maker of Gauloises Blondes and Winston cigarettes reported first-half organic adjusted revenue of £3.57 billion ($5.06 billion), up 3.5% on-year, in constant currency for the six months ended 31 March. Adjusted earnings per share came in at 107 pence for the first half.