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Good Weather And Bank Holidays Boosted May Retail Sales

Blurred shoppers summer spring Shutterstock 1184182105

The ONS has published retail sales data for May, noting a 0.3% rise in volume sales as opposed to the 0.2% decline that had been predicted by analysts.

Main points:

  • Retail sales volumes are estimated to have risen by 0.3% in May 2023, following a rise of 0.5% in April 2023 (unrevised from our previous publication).

  • Non-store retailing sales volumes rose by 2.7% in May 2023 because of strong sales by online retailers selling outdoor-related goods and summer clothing; this was boosted by the warm weather in the second half of the month.

  • Automotive fuel stores sales volumes rose by 1.7% in May 2023, following a fall of 1.7% in April 2023; sales volumes were 9.5% below their pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) February 2020 levels.

  • Food stores sales volumes fell by 0.5% in May 2023, with some anecdotal evidence of increased spending on takeaways and fast food because of the extra bank holiday, however retailers also indicated that increased cost of living and food prices continued to affect sales volumes.

  • Household goods stores reported a monthly rise in sales volumes of 1.5% because of strong sales in DIY stores who reported that good weather boosted sales.

  • Non-food stores sales volumes fell by 0.2% in May 2023, following a rise of 0.9% in April.

  • Online spending values rose by 2.5% in May 2023 because of monthly increases across all store types except other non-food stores.

  • The proportion of retail sales taking place online remains above the pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels (19.7% in February 2020).

  • The proportion of online sales rose to 26.5% in May 2023 from 26.0% in April 2023, and has remained broadly consistent at around 26% since May 2022.

Source : ONS

Image : Shutterstock.com / 1184182105

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23 June 2023

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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

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Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.
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