Retail sales rose at the highest rate since January across all sectors in the three month period to October, increasing by 2.4 per cent on a total basis compared to a 0.9 per cent in 2015.
New figures from the BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor have revealed that October doubled the three-month average of 1.1 per cent, representing a positive picture of overall retail in the run up to Christmas.
On a like-for-like basis sales increased by 1.7 per cent on last year, which decreased by 0.2 per cent.
Food performed well with a like-for-like increase of 0.1 per cent and a 1.5 per cent rise on a total basis, fairing favourably against the 0.6 per cent 12-month average.
Non-food also showed positive signs of growth posting a 0.6 per cent increase on a like for like and a 0.8 per cent growth on a total basis, although this fell below the 1.4 per cent yearly average.
Online sales continued strong growth with an 11 per cent increase, while in-store sales fell by 1.3 per cent on a total basis.
“Notably, fashion saw a reversal of recent fortunes, as new seasonal ranges drew shoppers in and boosted sales,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.
“Electronics too saw a strong sales resulting from new product releases and was a significant driver of the month’s performance. This was compounded by international shoppers’ spending, which has soared since July as tourists take advantage of the weak pound to buy luxury goods at bargain prices.
“It is clear from today’s figures, that despite the inflationary pressure that’s gradually building in the supply chain, retailers are currently effectively managing the additional cost burdens and continue to entice their customers with great choice and value.”
IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch added: “Although there’s been widespread discussion about the possible return of food inflation after such a long run of falling prices, the tide has yet to turn, so the fourth consecutive month of sales growth is particularly encouraging for the grocery sector.
“After a strong spike in the run-up to Halloween, food retailers will also feel optimistic about Christmas.
“However, concern about inflation is definitely heightening, with 75 per cent of shoppers expecting food prices to rise in the year ahead, up from 62 per cent who felt this in September.”