The UK department market has recorded a 21.4 percent growth despite shopper abandonment, according to a report by retail analysts Verdict.
The report states that competition from sector specialists and online retailers has made the retail market challenging for department stores, with the search for lower prices driving shoppers to switch. This has resulted in the number of consumers actively shopping at department stores falling by 5.9 million between 2009 and 2014, with just 35.7 percent of UK shoppers regularly using department stores this year.
However, the report also showed that fewer shoppers has not led to market reduction, and that department stores have been have leveraged their remaining customers and driving repeat visits through “regular newness, the introduction of new brands and store refurbishments”.
Kate Ormrod, retail analyst at Verdict, added: “While at times sales have been aided by deeper discounting, this has garnered sufficient loyalty to drive cross-sector shopping and overall expenditure – with growth at 21.4 percent between 2009 and 2014.”
Marks and Spencer remains the market leader with a share of 27.2 percent, although John Lewis is closing the gap thanks to its boost in clothing and electrical sales, and Verdict forecasts that 2014 department store expenditure growth on 2013 would be 1 percentage points lower at 2.7 percent if John Lewis was removed.