In your article, ‘The Nightmare After Christmas’ (01.02.19), you suggested that although the predicted retail apocalypse did not appear this Christmas, trading was negatively affected by deep discounting by retailers and that the true effect of this would be seen at the end of the financial year. 

You also reflected on how the high street’s woes had been compounded by the rise of online shopping.

Compare and contrast this with outlet centres that provide cheaper prices throughout the year and are going from strength to strength. The best retailers increasingly see outlets as part of a three-pronged strategy, the other two prongs being full-price stores and online. Outlets offer discounted products throughout the year and the opportunity to try before you buy.

This Christmas, London Designer Outlet (LDO) in Wembley Park achieved its best trading week ever and its 21st consecutive quarter of revenue growth. Total revenue increased by 2% and footfall by 8% year on year.

A physical store is still involved in 85% of retail sales, according to Revo chief executive Ed Cooke, and technology can help outlet centres to further bridge the gap between online convenience and the physical retail experience.

App-based store-to-door delivery service Dropit combines in-store and digital shopping, offering the appeal of major brands at year-round outlet prices with hassle-free convenience.

Indeed, since we introduced Dropit last December, the average transactional value for these users has been more than eight times the average retail spend.

The continuing resilience of outlets and strong performance of this sector illustrates customers’ enduring interest in year-round discounts, quality products and the physical retail experience.

Matt Slade, retail director, Quintain