Posted 15th May

Furniture sales bolstered by Easter weekend

15th May 2019 - 07:00am
money matters, brc, british retail consortium, kpmg, retail, sales, monitor, furniture, non-food, household, appliance, kbb, kbbdaily

Furniture sales experienced a boost in April thanks to the long Easter weekend and good weather, according to the latest British Retail Consortium – BRC – KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

However, the BRC noted that overall April figures were positively distorted by the timing of the run-up to Easter, which was in April this year compared with March last year. The monitor looked at the two-year average to correct the distortion, revealing that retail sales in April were actually “below expectation”.

Like-for-like retail sales in the UK increased by 3.7% last month compared with April 2018. The two-year average for like-for-like UK retail sales in April was a decrease of 0.3% per year. Online sales of non-food products grew by 4.3%, while the two-year average was 5.5% per year. The online penetration rate increased to 29.7%.

Over the three months to April, in-store sales of non-food products declined by 1.8% on a like-for-like basis. KPMG UK retail head and partner Paul Martin noted that the long Easter weekend “helped children’s toys and furniture sales, as parents looked to keep youngsters entertained as they returned to home and garden improvements”.

“April may have eased the strain on retailers somewhat, but we can’t overlook the fact that the new tax year also presents retailers with additional costs ranging from increased minimum wages to additional pension contributions,” Martin added. “The task of balancing sales and a profitable margin remains crucial, especially given the widespread promotional activity currently.”

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