Shares in retailers Dunelm (DNLM), Marks & Spencer (MKS) and Next (NXT) jumped after the bank holiday on news that the government aimed to allow all ‘non-essential’ shops to reopen within the next month.

In terms of timeline, outdoor markets and car showrooms are allowed to reopen from 1 June, while all retailers from small independents to department stores can open their doors from 15 June, subject to social distancing and hygiene rules and assuming there isn’t a big uptick in the infection rate in the meantime.

Car dealerships posted strong gains, with Inchcape (INCH) trading up 7% to 490p, Lookers (LOOK) up 8% to 19.8p and Pendragon (PDG) gaining 14% to 8.8p.

Clothing and homeware retailers also moved sharply, with M&S shares up 4.7% to 99p, Next up 7% to £49.03, and Dunelm up 8.2% to £10.26.

According to car magazine Auto Express, UK new car sales fell 97% in to just 4,321 vehicles in April, the lowest figure since the UK emerged from the Second World War. Most of those sales were fleet sales to ‘keyworkers’ who have to drive to carry our essential work. Just 871 new cars were bought by private buyers, compared with over 67,000 cars in April 2019.

Market data specialist Cap HPI estimates that April sales of used cars were down 98% while more firms were delivering used vehicles into the market, despite auction venues and car lots being shut.

CAR DEALERSHIPS

Company Performance YTD
Inchape -35.2%
Lookers -66.7%
Motorpoint -27.9%
Pendragon -40.2%

Source: Sharepad, performance from 31 Dec 2019 to 22 May 2020

According to figures published last week by the Office for National Statistics, retail sales for the month of April were down by 18% in volume terms with clothing sales especially weak, down 50%.

CLOTHING & HOMEWARE RETAILERS

Company Performance YTD
B&M European Value -12.3%
Card Factory -80.7%
Dixons Carphone -52.5%
Dunelm -18%
Frasers -42%
JD Sports Fashion -32.6%
Kingfisher -19.1%
Marks & Spencer -55.7%
Next -34.7%
Superdry -76.6%
WH Smith -63%

Source: Sharepad, performance from 31 Dec 2019 to 22 May 2020

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Issue Date: 26 May 2020