THE RETAIL BULLETIN - The home of retail news
HOME
RETAIL NEWS
RETAIL EVENTS
Fashion
Department Stores
Shopping Centres & Retail Parks
Home & DIY
Electricals
Health & Beauty
General Merchandise
Entertainment
Sports & Leisure
Retail Solutions
Food & Drink
RETAIL INSIGHTS
RETAIL SOLUTIONS
ABOUT US
CONTACT US
SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE
Editor’s view: like-for-like isn’t the end of the story

Like-for-like sales figures are always seen as one of the key numbers in a retailer’s balance sheet. As a measure that can be benchmarked against a known quantity, it is easy to see why. But as changing trends accelerate during the recession, like-for-like figures tell less and less of the full story. By Matthew Valentine, Editor

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Editor’s view: like-for-like isn’t the end of the story

Flat like-for-likes may not look that impressive, but if they are allied to a fourfold increase in online sales the numbers may be seen in a new light. As shopp
er behaviour changes at an ever faster rate, comparing the sales at a particular store from year to year may become a misleading way to judge how well companies are performing overall.

Certainly there have been cases this year of companies reporting a fall in like-for-likes, while achieving real growth in multi-channel transactions. In ten years, online sales have gone from being a novel way for geeks to buy software to a mainstream channel that almost all of use - when it suits us.

It seems to suit us increasingly often, and anybody fond of a wager would surely be more likely to put their money on the fastest future sales growth being outside the traditional store. So does that mean it is time to retire like-for-like sales as a key measure?

The simple answer is no - it is still a valuable measure of performance, and professional analysts have always treated it as one of a number of factors that must be taken into account. But the days of other commentators, including some sectors of the media, using like-for-likes as a universal bellwether of trading health must surely be numbered.

Email this article to a friend

You need to be logged in to use this feature.

Please log in here

Subscribe For Retail News

RETAIL EVENTS

Retail Human Resources Summit
Retail Human Resources Summit
Wednesday 3 October 2018
The Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 10th HR Summit 2018, The Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1, 3rd October 2018
The Retail Design Summit 2018
The Retail Design Summit 2018
14 November 2018
The Cavendish Conference Centre
The Retail Design Summit 2018
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2019
Omnichannel Futures Conference 2019
6 February 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London WG1 9DT
A truly omnichannel offering requires an understanding of customer behaviour across all shopping channels and how this should impact your overall business strategy
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
Customer Engagement Conference 2019
5 June 2019
Cavendish Conference Centre, London W1
The 10th Annual Retail Customer Engagement Summit
National Minimum Wage Breakfast Briefing
National Minimum Wage Breakfast Briefing
20 September 2018
6th Floor 1, St. Martin's Le Grand London, EC1A 4AS
National Minimum Wage Breakfast Briefing