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April Retail Sales boosted by late Easter

Retail park with B&Q

April Retail Sales released by BRC-KPMG  this morning, show that total sales increased in the month by a very positive 6.3%.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “As expected, the Easter holidays provided the welcome boost to retail sales, which goes some way to making up for the disappointing start to the year. That said, the positive distortion from the timing of Easter was largely responsible for the month’s growth and looking to the longer-term signs of a slowdown, the outlook isn’t as rosy.”

Food sales during the three months to the end of April increased 2.4% on a like for like basis and 3.6% in total. During the same period non-food sales increased 0.3% like for like and 0.7% total.

Dickinson said: “Taking a closer look at the sales figures, consumer spend on food and non-food items is diverging. Food categories continue to contribute the most weight to overall growth, although food inflation has a part to play in this. Meanwhile, consumers are being more cautious in their spending towards non-food products and focussing more on value priced lines.”

BRC’s figures also reveal that UK online sales of non-food products grew by 10.3% in the month of April versus last year, when they fell by 6.6%. Online sales now represent 21.6% of total non-food sales in the UK, compared to 21.1% in April 2016. On a three-month basis, penetration rate was 21.9%.

During the same three month period, online sales of non-food products grew 8.2% year-on-year while in-store sales declined by 1.3%.

UK head of retail at KPMG Paul Martin said: “Easter holidays resulted in a surge of online toy sales to keep the kids entertained. Similarly, the additional free time seemingly prompted shoppers to roll up their sleeves and get stuck into home improvements, with furniture and homeware sales proving popular.

“The prominence of online retail is only set to continue, and critical to a retailer’s success will be their ability to effectively combine online and offline sales activities."

Source : Insight Team

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09 May 2017

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