Sports and outdoor gear outperforms other fashion categories, Hammerson’s Retail Tracker of shopping centres shows

Hammerson’s Retail Tracker (HART), which monitors sales activity across its UK-wide portfolio of shopping centres, reported a 0.3% uptick in footfall to outperform the national average of -1.6% and a -0.3% dip  in like-for like sales in the six month period to 30 June 2016.

A mixed picture for the wider retail market, HART reveals that despite some unfavourable weather patterns and Brexit jitters, shoppers have remained stoic in their love of a day out at the shops.

Sporty Brits

The lure of anything health, fitness or well-being related together with the rise in popularity of “athleisure” have driven the growth in sports and outdoors gear, which consistently outperformed the rest of the fashion categories, up 7.5% in the past six months.  And in June alone the category continued its 2016 winning streak, rising an impressive 16.8% with consumers being inspired by a recent British and global sporting events.

Gems Galore

Jewellery has also been a standout consistent top performer during the first half of 2016 reporting a 3.5% increase during the six month period. This category has continued to sparkle this summer up 2.4% in June, with centres seeing a particular appetite for engagement rings. Diamond rings, charm bracelets and watches also remained popular choices with brands such as Tag and Rolex doing well. Shoppers across the portfolio have preferred to spend more on one or few luxury items, as opposed to purchasing numerous pieces at lower prices.

Hammerson CEO David Atkins said: “Despite the first half of the year revealing a mixed picture for retail it is encouraging to see that although consumers might be taking a more cautious approach to spending, they are still heading out into the shops.

“The appetite for both jewellery and sports-related goods has been notable throughout this year, and we anticipate this trend to continue through the remainder of the summer with the Olympics serving as further inspiration for shoppers.”