Insight of the Month – May 2018
After a lacklustre April, May brought about a much needed boost for retail. Total online visits grew by 7.1 per cent YoY, returning to the overall pace seen earlier in the year.
Warmer temperatures saw consumers preparing their summer wardrobes, with visits to Clothing, Fitness and Footwear rising by 13.7 per cent YoY. This increase was over double the growth experienced in May 2017 (+5.8 per cent), as searches spiked for dresses, jumpsuits, sunglasses and sandals.
After depressing Easter results, House & Garden retailers breathed a sigh of relief. Visits grew by 19.1 per cent YoY, which was the vertical’s fastest acceleration year to date. Outdoor and garden purchases drove this growth, including substantial leaps in garden furniture, sun loungers and decking boards.
Department Stores (+9.0 per cent) and Food & Drink (+7.9 per cent) benefited from the month’s events, which included a May bank holiday and the Royal Wedding. In particular, the Royal Wedding brought about a festive spirit, as searches for “royal wedding street parties” grew by 188 per cent in the four weeks leading up to the event.
As the first half of the year draws to a close, retailers are hoping to continue May’s acceleration into the summer months.
But caution and careful planning are still needed. The month was still dominated by headlines of massive store closures (from House of Fraser to Mothercare) and potential mergers (like Sainsbury’s and Asda) rocking the retail and groceries landscape.”
As seen in the BRC: Sun Shines Light on Outdoor Goods in May