Retail Week looks ahead to the next seven days with a pre-close trading update from WHSmith and the latest Kantar and Nielsen grocery figures.




The newsagent and books retailer reports a pre-close trading update on Wednesday, ahead of its financial year-end on August 31.

It will be hoping to be able to report a rallying high street business, following on from poor results for that division in its last quarter.

Group sales rose 2% in the third quarter while high street sales fell 4%, like-for-likes slipping 3%.

Its travel business performed strongly however, with like-for-likes up 3% and total sales climbing 9%.

Gross margin improvement and cost savings have been “delivered in line with plan”, it said.

In its travel business, total sales climbed 9% while like-for-likes rose 3%.

Kantar and Nielsen grocery figures

Both firms will post their latest grocery market share data on Tuesday. The supermarkets will be looking to bounce back from last month, when sales hit their lowest point in two years following bad weather and pressure from the discounters.

The value of sales dropped 2.4%, the worst performance since July 2014, while volume sales fell 1.5%, the worst performance since September 2014.

Although Tesco stemmed its rate of market share decline, Asda’s bad performance continued. It posted a 5.6% drop in sales.

Sainsbury’s also suffered a 0.2% dip in market share after its sales fell 1.1% across the three months.

Big four rival Morrisons recorded its best result since January as sales fell 1.8%, while Iceland, the Co-op and Waitrose all grew sales 2.8%, 2.1% and 1.6% respectively.

But that growth was dwarfed by Lidl, where sales surged 12.5%, and Aldi, which posted an 11% uplift – although this was its slowest rate of growth for five years.