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Mixed picture for UK Retail Sales

The volume of retail sales in March rose 1.3 per cent compared with the same month in 2010, in what the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said is a ‘mixed picture’ for the retail sector.

The value of retail sales was up 4.5 per cent over the same period. The figures show that the most significant contributions to the change in retail sales volumes came from other non-food stores, up 8.2 per cent, and non-store retailing, which increased 13.1 per cent.

The ONS attributes the rise in non-food stores to sales increases at computers and telecoms outlets, garden centres, florists, pet food stores, and sporting equipment and toy shops.

Household goods stores experienced the largest decline in retail sales volume, down 7.7 per cent due to a fall in DIY store sales. Food stores, clothing and footwear retailers also saw decreases in retail sales volumes.

The statistics follow the Webloyalty Online Retail Report by Verdict Research, published earlier this week, which revealed internet shopping is growing six times faster than high street sales.

The study expects online sales to exceed £37 billion by 2014, a rise of 61 per cent from 2010.

The report also showed that while 52 per cent of consumers currently use their mobile phones during the purchasing process, in the next five years this will rise to 80 per cent.

‘Retailers that survive on the high street will be those that combine their online stores with mobile apps that offer shoppers a better deal using location-based offers,’ explains Neil Saunders, consulting director at Verdict Research.

Source : Ellie Duncan - Growth

21 April 2011
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