Posted 12th February

Big-ticket items struggle in January despite boost in sales

By KBBDaily on 12th February 2018 - 13:35pm
retail, sales, non-food, products, online, brc, british retail consortium, kpmg, kitchen, bathroom, kbb, kbbdaily, ekbbusiness

Retail sales in the UK increased by 0.6% on a like-for-like basis in January, according to the latest British Retail Consortium – BRC – KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, however non-food sales saw a decline as rising food prices absorbed the “lion’s share of shoppers’ squeezed budgets”.

According to KPMG retail head Paul Martin, big-ticket items such as furniture “traditionally rely on strong post-Christmas trade, but this year seem to have struggled to woo consumers with the lure of a sale sign in the window”.

Online sales of non-food products did see growth of 5.3% last month, but this was a decrease from the 8% growth recorded in January 2017 and below the monitor’s three- and 12-month averages of 6.6% and 7.8%, respectively.

“The persisting tough trading environment played out at the start of the year with a mixed set of trading updates and subsequent announcements,” said BRC CEO Helen Dickinson. “Sales as well as profits are seemingly harder to come by. Against this challenging back-drop, 2018 didn’t have a bad start during what is traditionally a lean month, with sales creeping up in-line with the year’s average.

“The figures paint the same old picture of divided fortunes for food and non-food sales. Rising food prices continued to inflate sales growth and absorb the lion’s share of shoppers’ squeezed budgets, while sales of non-food items struggled in January, dragging the 12- month average into negative territory for the first time in nine years.”

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