In times of uncertainty, retailers will either tighten their belts or, perhaps counterintuitively, spend more money.
As the proliferation of M&A at the start of this month suggests, many are opting for the latter – adding strings to their bow and taking advantage of economies of scale.
The enigmatic Hut Group, in particular, is flashing the cash.
The online retailer, which reported a 67% leap in full-year profits in May, is on track to invest around £400m this year on its collection of beauty brands and bolstering its technology platform.
Just a month after its acquisition of web-hosting firm UK2, the fast-growing owner of MyProtein has today snapped up Birchbox rival Glossybox.
However, while some retailers are happily filling their shopping baskets, consumers are refraining from buying any non-essential items.
According to the latest footfall figures for July, overall shopper numbers fell 1.1% year-on-year, driven by a 2.1% drop at high street destinations and a 1.3% dip at shopping centres.
Quote of the day
“It is hard not to see the Carphone element of the equation as a mild disjoint. Yes, it is certainly part of the world of microelectronics, but walk into one of the new three-in-one stores and this bit looks the least integrated.”
Retail Week stores editor John Ryan commenting on Dixons Carphone’s share-price markdown
Today in numbers
Matchesfashion.com – currently being eyed by a clutch of private equity firms – could be valued at this amount
In an exception to the downward trend for July, footfall edged up at retail park destinations
No planned updates for tomorrow – happy trading!
Emily Hardy, senior reporter