Shoppers splash out for summer, Hammerson’s Retail Tracker (HART) reveals

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Hammerson’s Retail Tracker (HART), which monitors sales activity across its UK-wide portfolio of shopping centres, reported a 0.5% like-for-like uplift in sales during July as UK shoppers snapped up goods for summer holidays and special occasions, and tourists made the most of a weakened pound.

Gold is the season’s sparkler

Jewellery sales continued to perform well, up 2.7% during the month, with shoppers at Cabot Circus in Bristol and Silverburn in Glasgow showing a penchant for gold jewellery.

High-value men’s watches from brands such as Rolex and Omega also sold well across the country, bolstered by strong demand from overseas visitors. Customers at Bullring, Birmingham embraced Team GB’s Olympic success with the Olympic Omega watch designed with gold, silver and bronze time markers a particular favourite.

Set for summer

Adding to their summer holiday essentials, consumers topped up on tech during the month. Cameras, waterproof tablet cases, external battery packs for mobiles, and headphones all helped drive up sales in the Sound, Picture and Technology category which rose 6.9% on a like-for-like basis.

Primed, polished and preened 

Ahead of end of term school balls, weddings and summer celebrations, like-for-like sales of Fashion Accessories increased by a significant, 11.9%. At Brent Cross, London teenagers treated themselves to makeovers ahead of school prom season and the sunny weather prompted sun cream purchases, contributing to an uptick of 0.8% in Health and Beauty sales across the portfolio.  Mixed fashion sales also picked up, rising 2.1% with men’s fashion leading the charge, up 0.8%.

Commenting on the results, Hammerson CEO David Atkins said: “It is encouraging to see HART revealing an improving overall sales picture with continued appetite for high-value goods including jewellery, watches and technology remaining popular purchases. As well as an increase in demand from those making the most of the relative weakness in sterling, I am pleased to see that domestic consumers are treating themselves to seasonal favourites and one-off luxury items.”