E-commerce drives value of N West retailers to £21bn

The overall stock market value of the North West of England’s 11 listed retailers soared 51% to £21 billion in the last three years, bolstered by the rapid growth of the region’s e-commerce sector, according to business advisory firm Deloitte.

Data from Deloitte’s North West Share Index shows the total value of retailers listed on the FTSE, FTSE Small-Cap and the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) hit £21 billion last quarter — up 51% on the £13.8 billion value in 2016.

Deloitte said the market capitalisation of Manchester-headquartered online fashion retailer Boohoo grew fourfold over the period — driven by a growing consumer trend for social media “influencer”-led clothing.

Other high-growth e-commerce outlets contributing significantly to the region’s prosperity included Manchester-based Autotrader, which grew by 44%, and Ewloe-based Moneysupermarket.com, which grew by 51%.

Traditional bricks and mortar retail outlets with multiple stores also saw robust growth over the period.

Bury-headquartered JD Sports grew in value by 154% as it positioned itself for international expansion.

Liverpool-headquartered B&M grew by 31% over the same period.

The strength in e-commerce reflects the UK-wide trend of internet shopping becoming increasingly popular –– in the last year, internet sales accounted for 19% of total retail sales.

David O’Leary, Deloitte’s Head of Retail in the North West, said: “The strength of the North West’s e-commerce sector is exceptional, making full use of the traditional retail and tech sector strongholds.

“The innovation of Manchester-centred companies like The Hut Group and Boohoo has seen the region’s businesses — both public and private – explode on a global scale in recent years.

“Market conditions remain particularly challenging for traditional bricks and mortar outlets at the moment; however, the North West has remained buoyant with JD Sports continuing to outperform.

“This is due to getting the high-street offering right, along with many businesses keeping ahead of the curve by developing omni-channel offerings and looking to expand overseas.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.