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UK like-for-like retail sales edge up 0.2% in February

Retail sales increased by 0.2% in February on a like-for-like basis compared to the same month last year. On a total basis sales were up by 1.7%.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

UK like-for-like retail sales edge up 0.2% in February

Retail sales increased by 0.2% in February on a like-for-like basis compared to the same month last year. On a total basis sales were up by 1.7%.

Figures published in the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor show that total food sales grew by 0.5% in the three months to February but on a like-for-like basis dropped by 1.6%.

Meanwhile, non-food sales rose by 2.2% on a total basis and by 1.2% like-for-like.

Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, said: “After the bustle of Christmas and the excitement of the January sales, February is usually a quiet month for retailers. So it’s heartening to see that retail sales continued to rise this month by close to 2%

“What’s interesting is that almost all categories of product saw increased sales – so the good news is shared out pretty evenly across the industry as a whole. There was some specific excitement around swimwear, sandals and other ‘holiday’ items as consumers turned their mind to their getaways. Valentine’s Day also drove good sales of beauty products, jewellery and food related gifts.

“Fundamentally though, sales are up while prices fall which means that retailers are continuing to work hard to provide original products that excite customers at the right price. So far, 2015 has been positive for both retailers and consumers and it shows no signs yet of changing course.”

Online sales of non-food products grew by 8.3% in February versus a year earlier, when they had grown by 14.3%. The non-food online penetration rate was 17.5%, up from 16.6% in February 2014.

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