Retail Week looks ahead to the next seven days, with updates from Primark and Wickes and the GfK Consumer Confidence Index on the agenda.
The value retailer’s parent company, Associated British Foods, will report a pre-close update on Monday, February 26. Primark has beaten the market in recent quarters, notching up positive like-for-likes across territories and expanding fast in regions including Europe and the US.
The business had originally told the market that weak sterling would adversely affect its margins but managed to mitigate that almost completely by tightening its buying processes.
The rest of the fashion market will be hoping to glean some wisdom from what will doubtless be a positive update.
The DIY retailer’s parent company, Travis Perkins, will report its final results on Wednesday, February 28. Wickes’ growth slowed in its third quarter amid an increasingly tough house building market.
Inflation drove positive like-for-likes but volumes were broadly flat. It will be interesting to see what conclusions can be drawn on the health of the housing market from this update.
GfK Consumer Confidence Index
Wednesday also brings the GFK Consumer Confidence Index update. Consumer confidence rose across all metrics in January, ending a run of four consecutive months of decline, and was in stark contrast to the preceding update, which was the lowest-scoring December in four years.
GfK was unsure that the trend would continue, reasoning that in the “absence of good news about rising wages and declining inflationary pressures, this off-trend number could be a temporary blip rather than a strong sign of recovery”. With that in mind, February’s update should prove enlightening.