Specialised trade over Q1 2017
In line with economic indicators, specialised trade ended 2016 on a positive note. There was a slowdown in activity in January which was mainly seen for retail parks and in March there was a marked increase in activity for high-street retail. The outlook therefore appears to be brighter and a continuation of the trends seen in 2016; this particularly applies to some specific sectors, including personal goods sales.
Marked contrast between clothing and beauty
The gap between the various personal goods sales segments is widening. Clothing and footwear are still the main cause of concern for some retailers, particularly La Halle aux Chaussures that has published the list of 141 stores that it plans to close. H. Landers has decided to sell its 30 outlets and Tati, which has been weakened by the arrival of Primark in the low-cost clothing space, is seeking a buyer. Disposals and liquidations activity have continued and jewellery retailer, Jean Delatour is the latest victim. Some retailers have only made a partial withdrawal from the market, such as Mim which sold 71 sales outlets to Etam and Tally Weijl, but 150 stores are still waiting to be sold. Retailer MS Mode has also managed to retain a foothold in France after 65 of its stores were taken over; it also plans to reopen 15 additional units in the short term. Finally, following its recovery, Carnet de Vol is optimistic about the future and has expansion plans for 2017. The time is now ripe for activity in the sector and some well-established retailers are choosing to diversify; these include H&M that will be opening its Scandinavian concept store, Weekday, in Le Marais over Q2 2017.