Posted 13th Mar 2018

Retail sales see small rise in February, says BRC

By KBBDaily on 13th March 2018 - 14:00pm
Money Matters

UK retail sales increased by 0.6% on a like-for-like basis in February, according to the latest British Retail Consortium – BRC – KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, with sales in furniture increasing while household appliance sales fell.

According to the monitor, in-store sales of non-food items declined by 3.3% on a like-for-like basis over the three months to February, while online sales of non-food products grew by 6.4%. Overall non-food retail sales in the UK dropped by 1.1% on a like-for-like basis in the three-month period.

“The headwinds to retail spending continued to blow strong in February,” said BRC CEO Helen Dickinson, pictured. “Inflation is still eating into shoppers’ budgets, pushing them to spend a greater share of their income on essentials and leaving less left over to buy discretionary, predominantly non-food, retail items.

“There’s little sign that consumer confidence, rather than financial reality, has much to do with the current weakness in spending. Furniture, often considered the bell weather of consumer confidence, actually saw sales improve in February as shoppers took advantage of credit facilities offered by retailers. The fact is that consumers want to spend, they just don’t have the resources to do so.”

She added: “With the upward pressure on prices from the fall in the pound now starting to subside we expect to see some loosening of the squeeze on spending on non-essentials, but it’s likely to come slowly.”

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