Hammerson’s Retail Tracker: tech lovers top the April retail chart

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Hammerson’s Retail Tracker (HART), which monitors sales activity across its UK-wide portfolio of shopping centres, witnessed a boom in technology sales in April driving an overall 0.4% uplift in sales, outperforming the latest BRC figures which saw like-for-like sales down -0.9% for the month.

Tech tops the retail category leader board

Proving that the UK really is a nation of tech lovers, the ‘sound, picture & technology’ category was up 27.7% during April and saw its greatest like-for-like increase in the past nine months, with shoppers in Cabot Circus, Bristol and WestQuay, Southampton having the biggest spending sprees. The digitally savvy headed out into the shops to snap up the latest tech gadgets with the launch of the Apple iPad Pro and the iPhone 5SE adding to gadget-hungry shoppers’ tech collections during the month.

Boost in luxury travel signifies consumer confidence

In preparation for the annual Great British summer holiday migration, April saw a surge in holiday bookings with the “travel and leisure” category rising 26.7% during the period. Customers at Union Square, Aberdeen, Silverburn, Glasgow and WestQuay, Southampton splashed out on long-haul holidays, with cruises and luxury breaks to destinations such as the Maldives and Barbados topping the list for this year’s get-always.

Bank Holiday homewares

Providing an early insight into May’s spending, shoppers took advantage of the long May bank holiday weekend, with the nation deciding to take up decorating. ‘Homewares’ saw a rise in sales, up 20.7% on bank holiday Monday alone, highlighting the continued love of interiors by the British shopper.

Hammerson CEO David Atkins said: “Perhaps unperturbed by the uncertainty around the looming Brexit debate, it is encouraging to see customers still treating themselves to high value items such as the latest smart technology and long haul and luxury travel. With additional highly anticipated tech launches this autumn, we expect to a similar bounce in this category later in the year, as we see a trend towards consumers prioritising big-ticket tech over wardrobe updates.”