The BLE Blog

A mixed start to 2015: GfK gives an overview of the retail landscape so far

PrintFrom what ended up being a relatively positive 2014, 2015 so far has treated us to a few mixed blessings – the markets that GfK track (traditional home durables and electricals) show an increased retail spend of £500m comparing 12 months to May 2015 against the previous 12 months. Whilst Black Friday and Cyber Monday have proved successful retail campaigns, they have not increased Q4’s sales at all in 2014, despite the drive to increase consumer awareness. In fact the last three Q4s have remained level at just over £10bn – let’s see if this year can muster some additional sales.

Online sales have been doing well of course for quite some time – but we’ve seen growth rates slow so far this year, seeing anything from +2% to +8% in value growth. Telecoms, DIY and home appliances have been doing particularly well, with IT and consumer electronics actually seeing a decline in online activity.

Looking at what has been doing well recently (by that I mean from our weekly panel data – a selection of larger chain stores across the country, looking at their value over the 13 weeks to 20th June 2015 and comparing to the same 13 weeks last year) there have been quite a few movers and shakers in the last few weeks. Headphones, which had been performing consistently well, are now in decline, along with tablets – which have seen a disappointing 2015, partly because most people who want a tablet now have one. Media Gateways – products which connect your TV to the internet – have had a bumper year so far, but have dropped into value decline due to a sudden price drop in several retailers.

On the other side of the coin, kitchen appliances, docking speakers, personal care products and network storage drives have all remained buoyant, posting single digit growth over the last 13 weeks. But what is sitting at the top oMax Photof the class? Well, no surprises that “Wearables” are performing very well, albeit from a small base, with plenty more growth expected. Juicers and smoothie makers are also capturing people’s attention – along with action cams, electric toothbrushes, large screen TVs and turntables – which have been in growth for well over a year now!

Max Templeman is Senior Account Manager, Consumer Electronics at GfK, a BLE Knowledge Partner.

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