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Sporting goods performed well in December

Sporting goods was the strongest performing retail sector in December with almost 20% year-on-year sales growth, according to Savills research based on data from its managed shopping centres across the UK.

SPORTS & LEISURE

Sporting goods performed well in December

The next best performer was the grocery sector with a rise of 8.4%, followed by electricals at 7.4%, health and beauty at 5.8% and accessories at 5.5%.

Across 2016, Savills found that the grocery sector showed the highest year-on-year sales growth at 7.9%. In contrast, menswear sales declined by circa 10% in December and by 9.1% across the full year. Other categories to experience negative growth in December were restaurants, homewares and stationery. After menswear, the sectors showing the highest declines in 2016 were confectionery and value retail.

Stephen Toal, head of property management research at Savills, said: “The fusion of sport and fashion to create the ‘athleisure’ trend was particularly beneficial for the sporting goods sector last year, while grocery is experiencing a turnaround in fortunes helped no doubt by price inflation.

“However, clothing experienced its worst sales of recent years and continues to face headwinds from the National Living Wage, Apprenticeship Levy, business rates review, currency pressures and Brexit. Therefore managing costs, understanding the customer journey, investing in technology and providing exceptional value will be crucial.”

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