Retail sales show uplift in January
Retail sales rose by 1.6% on a total basis in January compared to the same month last year as shoppers took advantage of the January sales and spent more on items such as fruit and vegetables and exercise equipment.
Figures published in the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor show that like-for-like sales edged up 0.2%
Total food sales grew for the second consecutive month in January and showed a 0.2% rise over the last three months, which was the best performance since February 2014. On a like-for-like basis food sales dropped by 1.8%.
Meanwhile, non-food sales rose by 2.7% on a total basis as retailers benefited from the continuation of end-of-season sales into January. On a like-for-like basis sales increased by 1.8%.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: "Retail sales have continued to grow with January reporting a respectable 1.6% increase. Looking into the numbers a little more closely gives us even more cause for optimism - last year retailers had a bumper January so to see growth against such a tough comparison shows the industry to be in rude health. Customers were offered attractive bargains on winter ranges but it remains to be seen at what cost to the retailers’ margins.”
The BRC said shoppers were keen to achieve their New Year resolutions which boosted sales of fruit and vegetables and exercise equipment. Dickinson added: “Given the time of year this is no surprise and retailers have capitalised by making sure they have the right stock, at the right price to help consumers achieve their New Year goals.”
Online sales of non-food products grew by 11.7% in January on a year earlier. The non-food online penetration rate was 18.4%, up from 16.8% in January 2014.
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