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Retail sees strongest growth in 18 months


Last month UK retail sales saw some of their strongest annual growth in the past two years, helped by the warmer weather towards the end of month and an earlier-than-usual start to summer sales, the BRC said today.

The British Retail Consortium cited total spending in June was up 2.9% up on the year, the strongest month since January 2014 if distortions due to the timing of Easter are taken out of consideration, which is not seasonally adjusted.

Sales on a like-for-like basis, which adjusts for changes in floor space and is preferred by stores and equity analysts, were up by 1.8%. This was also the highest non-Easter reading since January 2014.

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “Online retail sales have experiences the best growth since August 2014, largely driven by fashion promotions. As ever, websites are popular during the sales, providing greater clarity of stock availability for consumers. For retailers, online is an increasingly useful tool to reach customers selectively and showcase their offer. Online sales strength is also shown in the fact its contribution to three month non-food sales growth has reached its highest proportion since December 2013. This highlights the variety of digitally focused roles in the retail industry. It also shows the increasing demand for skilled people to develop sophisticated online operations and a seamless connection between physical and digital space.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG added: “Non-food online sales soared to record levels in June, up 17.6% - the highest level of growth this year – as the real benefits of the virtual aisle shone through. With temperatures soaring, consumers chose to click for summer fashion and festival chic rather than swelter on the high street.

Unsurprisingly online sales in the Health & Beauty sector saw a particular boost as shoppers topped up on sun cream and beauty essentials to stay safe from the sun’s rays.”

Published on Tuesday 14 July by Veebs Sabharwal

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