BRC: UK retail sales in September increased by 1.9% on a like-for-like basis from September 2016

LONDON, UK, 2017-Oct-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Covering the four weeks 27 August – 30 September 2017

  • In September, UK retail sales increased by 1.9% on a like-for-like basis from September 2016, when they had increased 0.4% from the preceding year.
  • On a total basis, sales rose 2.3% in September, against a growth of 1.3% in September 2016. This is above the 3-month and 12-month averages of 2.1% and 1.7% respectively.
  • Over the three months to September 2017, In-store sales of Non-Food items declined 1.5% on a Total basis and 2.0% on a Like-for-like basis.
  • Over the three months to September, Food sales increased 2.5% on a like-for-like basis and 3.5% on a total basis. This remains above the 12-month Total average growth of 2.9%, the highest 12-month average since August 2013.
  • Over the three-months to September, Non-Food retail sales in the UK increased 0.5% on a like-for-like basis and 0.9% on a total basis, above the 12-month Total average growth of 0.7%.
  • Online sales of Non-Food products grew 10.7% in September, above both the 3-month and 12-month averages of 10.0% and 8.8% respectively. Online penetration rate increased from 21.5% in September 2016 to 22.4% in September 2017, the highest penetration rate since January.

 

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive | British Retail Consortium

“September saw a second consecutive month of relatively good sales growth which should indicate welcome news for retailers and the economy alike. Looking beneath the surface though, we see that much of this growth is being driven by price increases filtering through, particularly in food and clothing, which were the highest performing product categories for the month. Retailers have worked hard to keep a lid on price rises following the depreciation of the pound, but with a potent mix of more expensive imports and increasing business costs from various government policies, something had to give at some point.

“From a consumer perspective, spending is still being focussed towards essential purchases; with consumers buying their winter coats and back to school items, but shying away from big ticket items such as furniture and delaying the renewal of key household electrical goods.  Online has been the biggest beneficiary of the resilience in consumer spending capacity in the last two months, sustaining a return to double digit year on year growth figures as shoppers responded well to discounts and the ongoing investment by retailers in improving the mobile shopping experience.

“September’s overall growth may increase the likelihood of an uplift in interest rates in November. So with stronger headwinds brewing, its vital government keep a tight lid on those costs under its control, which impact on retailers, the cost of doing business and ultimately consumers. The Chancellor has a great opportunity to do just that in his upcoming budget by not adding yet another rise on the business rates bill of every retailer in the country.”

Paul Martin, Head of Retail | KPMG UK

“September’s performance will have left many retailers with smiles on their faces, with sales up 1.9 per cent on a like-for-like basis, compared to last year.

“Children’s clothing clearly hit the mark as one of the leading categories in the month, whilst the August bank holiday and favourable autumnal weather lent a helping hand to non-food sales. Grocers will also be feeling the warmth having performed particularly well, as food and drink remains in high demand with shoppers – although food price inflation continues to be a key driver of this growth.”

“Non-food online sales continued to soar with double digit growth, outpacing the uptick seen on the high street.

“However, with potential interest rate rises on the horizon, shaky consumer confidence and ever increasing levels of household debt, uncertainty remains. We’re now moving into the final quarter, which will ultimately define whether 2017 has been a good or bad year for retailers.”

Food & Drink sector performance | Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive | IGD

“September was a consistently strong month for food and grocery sales with little variation from week to week. This extends the good run from spring into autumn, albeit driven more by rising prices than volumes.

“After several months of inflation, a growing number of people are taking more time to hunt down value. Just under half (46 per cent) of shoppers now say they usually look for the cheapest products, even if it takes more time, versus 40 per cent in March.”

SOURCE: British Retail Consortium

BRC Press Office

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BRC: UK retail sales in May down by 0.4% on a like-for-like basis from May 2016

London, 2017-Jun-06 — /EPR Retail News/ —

BRC – KPMG RETAIL SALES MONITOR MAY 2017

Covering the four weeks 30 April – 27 May 2017​

  • In May, UK retail sales decreased by 0.4% on a like-for-like basis from May 2016, when they had increased 0.5% from the preceding year.
  • On a total basis, sales rose 0.2% in May, against a growth of 1.4% in May 2016. This is the lowest since January, excluding Easter distortions, and below the 3-month and 12-month averages of 1.9% and 1.2% respectively.
  • Over the three months to May, Food sales increased 3.2% on a like-for-like basis and 4.3% on a total basis. This is the strongest 3-month average since February 2012, excluding Easter distortions. This pulls the 12-month Total average growth to 2.2%, the highest since January 2014.
  • Over the three-months to May, Non-Food retail sales in the UK decreased 0.3% on a like-for-like basis and increased 0.1% on a total basis, below the 12-month Total average growth to 0.5%. May’s Total Non-Food performance was the worst recorded since May 2011.
  • Over the three-months to May, Online sales of Non-Food products grew 7.0% while In-store sales declined 1.8% on a Total basis and 2.3% on a like-for-like basis, below the like-for-like 12-month average decline of 2.0%.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive | British Retail Consortium said: “After the pick-up in sales over Easter, consumer spending slowed again in May resulting in almost flat growth on the previous year. Underneath the headlines, there’s continued variation in the performance of food versus non-food products, as sales performance of the two become increasingly polarised. Food sales, albeit positively distorted by inflation, continue to see annual growth, while in non-food categories which are predominantly capturing discretionary spending, retailers find themselves having to compete even harder.

“Overall, May’s sales slowdown is indicative of a longer term trend of a decline in consumer spending power. As household budgets become increasingly squeezed by inflation, predominantly in the non-retail part of the consumer basket, it’s vital that the next Government helps retailers keep prices low for ordinary shoppers. This means, as well as securing a tariff-free trade deal with the EU, negotiating frictionless customs arrangements; providing certainty for EU colleagues working in the UK; and ensuring the continuity of existing EU legislation as it transfers into UK law.”

Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail | KPMG said:

“After the surge in retail sales last month – the by-product of this year’s relatively late Easter – retailers have been brought back down to earth with a thump. Like-for-like retail sales contracted in May, which is likely to represent a more accurate depiction of the state of UK retail currently.

“The impact of inflationary pressures on the nation’s purse continues to play out in this month’s figures, with shoppers evidently spending more on food and drink than on non-food purchases. With inflation continuing to rise and wage growth stagnating, consumers are starting to feel the pinch – although the highly competitive nature of the UK grocery market continues to play out in the consumer’s favour.

“Many retailers, particularly fashion stores, will be poised and ready to make the most of the upcoming summer, so hopefully the weather will play fair. An increased focus on managing costs will dominate the retail agenda. More imminently though, eyes will be firmly placed on the outcome of the General Election, with close attention being paid to the implications it might have on the industry.”

Food & Drink sector performance | Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive | IGD said:

“Food and drink sales were again strong in May, not quite reaching the heights of average growth from the previous two months, but maintaining the trend for year-on-year growth. This was mainly attributable to inflation combined with warm weather in the run-up to the late May bank holiday. The sustained sunshine saw beers, wines and spirits enjoy double-digit growth.

“With no big summer event beyond the regular schedule this year, sales over the next few months will hinge largely on the weather. Hot conditions encourage impulse buying. For instance, over a third (34 per cent) of shoppers say they tend to revert at the last minute to a barbecue when the weather is good.”

PRESS ENQUIRIES:
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Source: BRC

BRC – KPMG: UK retail sales up by 5.6% in April vs April 2016

London, 2017-May-10 — /EPR Retail News/ —

BRC – KPMG RETAIL SALES MONITOR APRIL 2017

Covering the four weeks 2 – 29 April 2017

  • In April, UK retail sales increased by 5.6% on a like-for-like basis from April 2016, when they had decreased 0.9% from the preceding year.
  • On a total basis, sales rose 6.3% in April, against flat growth in April 2016. The performance is positively distorted by the timing of Easter and the highest since April 2011, another Easter distortion. This pulls the 3-month average to 2.0%, above the 12-month average of 1.3%.
  • Over the three-months to April, Food sales increased 2.4% on a like-for-like basis and 3.6% on a total basis. This is much faster than the 12-month Total average growth of 2.0%, the highest since February 2014.
  • Over the three-months to April, Non-Food retail sales in the UK increased 0.3% on a like-for-like basis and 0.7% on a total basis, almost in line with the 12-month Total average growth to 0.8%.
  • Over the three-months to April, Online sales of Non-Food products grew 8.2% while In-store sales declined 1.3% on a Total basis and 1.8% on a like-for-like basis, roughly in line with the 12-month average decline of 1.7%.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium

“As expected, the Easter holidays provided the welcome boost to retail sales, which goes some way to making up for the disappointing start to the year. That said, the positive distortion from the timing of Easter was largely responsible for the month’s growth and looking to the longer-term signs of a slowdown, the outlook isn’t as rosy.

“Taking a closer look at the sales figures, consumer spend on food and non-food items is diverging. Food categories continue to contribute the most weight to overall growth, although food inflation has a part to play in this. Meanwhile, consumers are being more cautious in their spending towards non-food products and focussing more on value priced lines.

“Shop prices are still down overall although other items of consumer spending are increasing headline inflation and hence driving a tightening of purse strings. Although today’s figures do indicate that consumers are still willing to spend, with a cocktail of rising costs and slowing wage growth as the backdrop, conditions for consumers will get tougher. The next Government needs to deliver a plan that puts consumers first in its economic policies and the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.”

Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail, KPMG

“April’s sales provided a brief period of respite for retailers following a relentless start to the year. However, much of the rise was driven by the timing of Easter and the growing inflationary pressures the sector is facing, rather than a sudden upswing in consumer confidence.

“Food and drink sales soared significantly in April, suggesting that feasts remain at the heart of festive holidays. That said, in the ultra-competitive grocery sector, these growth figures should be taken with a hefty pinch of salt, with margins under significant pressure and profitability remaining a concern.

“The growth in sales of children’s clothes and toys points to parents making the most of school holidays and keeping the kids entertained. Meanwhile, the rise in furniture sales suggests that springtime home improvements have been kicked into gear.

“Looking ahead, retailers need to ensure that this month’s boost doesn’t lull them into a false sense of security. The retail landscape is changing fast and as such, agility and the ability to manage costs will remain critical.”

Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive, IGD

“April’s food and grocery sales are best viewed in combination with March to iron out the changing date of Easter. Sales across this two-month period were up by around 4 per cent on last year, exceptional growth by all recent standards. Partly, this is due to the return of some food inflation but the underlying demand for groceries was also very robust.

“The public remains in a state of uncertainty though and we cannot be sure how long the good run will last. The number of shoppers expecting to be better off in the year ahead has dipped to 21 per cent from 24 per cent last month.”

Contact:
BRC Press Office
TELEPHONE: + 44 (0) 20 7854 8924
EMAIL: media@brc.org.uk
OUT OF HOURS: +44 (0) 7557 747 269

Source: BRC

BRC – KPMG: UK retail sales decreased by 1.0% in March 2017 vs March 2016

London, 2017-Apr-12 — /EPR Retail News/ —

BRC – KPMG RETAIL SALES MONITOR MARCH 2017

Covering the five weeks 26 February – 1 April 2017

  • In March, UK retail sales decreased by 1.0% on a like-for-like basis from March 2016, when they had decreased 0.7% from the preceding year.
  • On a total basis, sales fell 0.2% in March, against flat growth in March 2016. This remains below the 3-month average of 0.1% and the 12-month average of 0.8%, but is negatively distorted by the timing of Easter.
  • Over the three-months to March, Food sales decreased 0.2% on a like-for-like basis and increased 1.2% on a total basis. This is the first time in four months that the 3-month average Total growth has been below 2.0%. The 12-month Total average growth rose to 1.5%, the highest since April.
  • Over the three-months to March, Non-Food retail sales in the UK declined 1.1% on a like-for-like basis and 0.8% on a total basis. This is the slowest 3-month Total average growth since May 2011, and drags the 12-month Total average growth to 0.3%, the lowest since April 2012.
  • Over the three-months to March, Online sales of Non-Food products grew 7.4% while In-store sales declined 3.0% on a Total basis and 3.4% on a like-for-like basis.

HELEN DICKINSON OBE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BRITISH RETAIL CONSORTIUM

“First impressions of March’s sales figures are underwhelming, with the first decline since August last year. That said, the distortion which results from the timing of Easter always makes Spring a tricky period to assess and the later timing of the holiday this year certainly detracted from last month’s performance.

“Mother’s Day gift purchases provided some compensation, boosting sales of beauty and stationary items in particular. Looking at the bigger picture though, the slowdown in non-food growth persists and it now stands at its lowest three-month average for nearly six years.

“Meanwhile, food sales continue to outperform non-food sales as shoppers focus their spending on essential items. This marginal growth in food was bolstered by slightly higher shop prices following increases in global food commodity costs and a weaker pound. The pressure on prices continues to build, albeit slowly, and will inevitably put a tighter squeeze on disposable income and so to ensure consumers continue to enjoy great quality, choice and value on goods, securing tariff free-trade must be the priority as the Brexit negotiations begin in earnest.”

PAUL MARTIN, UK HEAD OF RETAIL, KPMG

“March proved a disappointing end to the first quarter for retailers, with like-for-like sales in the month down 1 per cent on last year. Easter being later in the year is likely to have contributed to the bleaker picture, alongside the other obstacles facing the sector – especially increased input costs.

“Food sales remained in the black for a full quarter, although this is largely being driven by rising inflation, so no reason for too much celebration. Women’s footwear certainly stepped up, encouraged by the arrival of spring collections. Meanwhile, the rise in jewellery and beauty products is likely to have been helped by Mother’s Day.

“Retailers will be hoping Easter boosts retail sales in April, whether it’s shoppers making the most of the holiday or those choosing to spruce up their homes. The new tax year marks further pressure on margins in the form of the apprenticeship levy and business rate changes, therefore tighter cost management and a focus on efficiency is more important than ever.”

JOANNE DENNEY-FINCH, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, IGD

“It’s always difficult to interpret the food retail figures for March because of the shifting Easter week. Although sales dipped versus last year, there is every opportunity for retailers to recoup the lost ground in April.

“Easter is the second-biggest peak in the year for food shopping and just as at Christmas, online is playing a growing part. 43% of shoppers say they have bought some of their groceries online in the last month, while 60% intend to shop online for groceries over the next three years.”

Contact:
BRC Press Office
TELEPHONE: + 44 (0) 20 7854 8924
EMAIL: media@brc.org.uk

Source: BRC

BRC/KPMG: February was yet another challenging month for the majority of retailers in UK

  • In February, UK retail sales decreased by 0.4% on a like-for-like basis from February 2016, when they had increased 0.1% from the preceding year.
  • On a total basis, sales rose 0.4% in February, against a 1.1% increase in February 2016. This remains below the 3-month average of 0.8% and the 12-month average of 0.9%.
  • Over the three-months to February, Food sales increased 0.6% on a like-for-like basis and 2.0% on a total basis. This is the third consecutive 3-month average Total growth of 2.0% or above, taking the 12-month Total average growth to 1.2%, the highest since May 2014.
  • Over the three-months to February, Non-Food retail sales in the UK declined 0.4% on a like-for-like basis and 0.2% on a total basis. This is the first 3-month decline since November 2011, dragging the 12-month Total average growth to 0.6%, the lowest since May 2012.
  • Over the three-months to February, Online sales of Non-Food products grew 7.7% while In-store sales declined 2.4% on a Total basis and 2.6% on a like-for-like basis.

London, 2017-Mar-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — HELEN DICKINSON OBE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BRITISH RETAIL CONSORTIUM

“Overall growth was subdued in February driven by a continuation of the slowdown in non-food sales. This was marginally offset by slightly stronger growth in food sales.

“There was some negative distortion created by the later timing of Mother’s Day this year, which meant that some categories, notably women’s accessories and health and beauty, didn’t benefit from the build-up of gift purchases as they did last year. But looking beyond this distortion, the persistent weak sales performance of several non-food categories points to an undeniable trend of cautious spending on non- essential items.

“Tougher times are expected ahead. The impact of inflation on consumer spending will add further intensity to an already fiercely competitive environment in which the ability to adapt and innovate will be key to survival. Looking to the Budget this week, we hope to see a commitment from Government to lay a path to a truly sustainable business rates system that will give retailers the flexibility needed to invest and support their local communities.”

PAUL MARTIN, UK HEAD OF RETAIL, KPMG

“Evidently February was yet another challenging month for the majority of retailers, with like-for-like sales down 0.4 per cent on last year. Food sales however, continued to buck the general trend by remaining in the black. That said, with inflation starting to have an impact on retail performance, it is clear that consumer confidence is showing signs of deteriorating.

“School half-term holidays are likely to have contributed to the stronger performance in children’s toy sales during the month. Likewise, furniture and home textile sales will have benefited from parents using the holiday as an opportunity to spruce up the home.

“Retailers will be paying close attention to the upcoming Spring Budget in the hope of seeing some measures to ease the pressure being placed on margins. For some bricks and mortar retailers, a hike in business rates may well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”

JOANNE DENNEY-FINCH, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, IGD

“Food and grocery turned in a solid sales performance throughout February, with a particularly strong Valentine’s Day this year.

“The return of a little inflation to the aisles is also playing its part and shoppers are bracing themselves for more to come: 81 per cent believe food prices will rise in the coming year, the highest level of anticipation since September 2016. This puts the emphasis back on hunting for value, with 63 per cent of shoppers favouring everyday low prices over more special offers.”

Contact:

BRC Press Office
TELEPHONE: + 44 (0) 20 7854 8924
EMAIL: media@brc.org.uk

Source: BRC

BRC: total Food sales increased 1.6% on three-month basis, its best level since November 2013 excluding Easter distortions

LONDON, 2016-Oct-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — HELEN DICKINSON OBE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BRITISH RETAIL CONSORTIUM: “Today’s figures show a return to sales growth, primarily driven by stronger food sales which saw their highest increase since November 2013. On the flipside, sales growth of non-food items remained sluggish. Despite a flurry of back- to- school purchases, clothing sales in particular had a more challenging month.

“September saw the consumer confidence index restored to levels seen before the EU referendum in June which did translate into a willingness to spend on bigger ticket items. However, the monthly out turn continues to highlight ongoing volatility in retail spending and to reflect longer- term economic headwinds as retailers begin to seek to mitigate the impact of higher import costs due to the fall in the value of the pound.

“Against the current backdrop of intense competition and transformational change in the industry, it’s crucial that retailers are able to continue their excellent track record of keeping prices low for their customers and offering great choice and value. With that in mind the BRC will be ensuring that in the forthcoming Brexit talks, Government negotiators have their sights set firmly lowering import costs as well as avoiding any increase in tariff costs as the UK leaves the EU.”

PAUL MARTIN, NEWLY APPOINTED HEAD OF RETAIL, KPMG: “After a fairly disappointing August, the ‘back to school’ rush resulted in a much needed uplift for retailers in September with total sales up 1.3 per cent in the month.

“The shoe was truly on the right foot for children’s footwear, with the category leading the way in the month. No doubt timely in-store promotions helped to capture the attention of shoppers, whilst the August bank holiday that fell into this month’s figures also helped to boost sales. Sadly this success wasn’t mirrored for women’s clothes and footwear, with consumers seemingly uninspired by autumn collections due to warmer weather in September.

“Elsewhere, it was yet another month of positive growth for the grocers. Late summer temperatures combined with shoppers continuing to benefit from the ongoing price war has meant food and drink sales have been in the black for a full quarter – undoubtedly welcome news for the sector.
“As we move into the all-important golden quarter at the end of the year, retailers will be looking to make the run up to Christmas, including Black Friday, a success.”

FOOD & DRINK SECTOR PERFORMANCE, JOANNE DENNEY-FINCH, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, IGD: “In encouraging news for food and grocery companies, the growth seen through the summer months continued into September. Shoppers are feeling generally upbeat, with three-quarters (76 per cent) expecting their personal financial situation either to improve or stay the same in the coming year, up from 69 per cent in August”

“Although the sales growth remains modest, grocery retailers and manufacturers have reason to feel optimistic as Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas come on to the horizon.”

Media Contact:

BRC Press Office
TELEPHONE: + 44 (0) 20 7854 8924
EMAIL: media@brc.org.uk
OUT OF HOURS: +44 (0) 7557 747 269

Source: BRC

BRC – KPMG: sales in August 2016 declined 0.3% against a 0.1% increase in August 2015

London, 2016-Sep-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium. “A month of extraordinary achievement for Team GB certainly produced a feel-good effect and consumer confidence was up on July, but that generally didn’t translate into extra sales. Consumers were enticed towards leisure and outdoor activities rather than shopping, although Food did post its strongest performance in more than two years; fuelled by demand for picnic, barbeque supplies and celebratory drinks.

“Care should be taken in reading too much into August’s lacklustre performance. As we’ve seen in the last couple of months, data portending the health of the economy paint a volatile picture. The fact is that so far little has directly changed for the UK’s consumers as a result of the referendum, so it’s the pre-existing market dynamics that are still driving sales. The slowdown in real wage growth in the first half of 2016 and strong competition will continue to weigh on trend growth in total sales; whilst holiday timings, promotional and seasonal activity will contribute to fluctuations month on month.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG
“In contrast to July, August’s retail figures illustrate somewhat of a U-turn of retail fortunes. Like-for-like sales were down 0.9 per cent on this time last year – painting a disappointing picture given previous signs of encouragement.

“Sales of women’s fashions performed particularly poorly, despite widespread promotions. The warmer weather made it almost too hot to shop and dissuaded shoppers from looking at the newly arrived autumn products. Despite this, jewellery sales continued to benefit from international shoppers taking advantage of the weaker pound. Whilst for those at home, some of whom may have opted for a staycation given the exchange rate, the warmer weather put wine and barbeques firmly on the menu – much to the delight of food and drinks sellers.

“With the Bank holiday weekend and ‘back to school’ sales largely falling in next month’s figures, it’s unsurprising that children’s fashion and footwear haven’t yet experienced an uplift. Given the volatility of retail sales in the past few months, no doubt retailers will be hoping for a smoother ride in the lead up to Christmas.”

Food & Drink sector performance, Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive, IGD. “A strong August for sales under mainly blue skies completed a good summer for grocery retailers, with the best underlying three-month growth for more than two years. “Although 51 per cent of shoppers feel that the next 12 months is a time for them to play it safe in financial terms, this does not seem to be curtailing overall spending on everyday items like food and groceries.”

For Media Enquiries:
Zoe Maddison
British Retail Consortium
Tel:  0207 854 8924
Email:  Zoe.Maddison@brc.org.uk

Source: British Retail Consortium

BRC-KPMG: UK retail sales increased 2.6% in Sep 2015 vs the same month 2014

– UK retail sales increased 2.6% on a like-for-like basis from September 2014, when they had decreased 2.1% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 3.9%, against a 0.8% fall in September 2014. This is the fastest growth since January 2014, excluding Easter distortions. Adjusted for the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index deflation, total growth was 5.8%.

– The inclusion of the Bank Holiday into the September period positively distorted the figures of the back-to-school-sensitive categories, particularly the fashion and home categories. September’s figures were also flattered by a soft comparable period last year.

– Total Food sales grew 0.2% over the 3 months to September, in line with their twelve-month average, which reported its best performance since July 2014. On a 3-month basis, total Non-Food sales were up 3.7%, ahead of their 12-month average of 3.3%.

– Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 14.2% in September versus a year earlier, when they had grown 8.2%. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 17.7%, up from 17.2% in September 2014.

LONDON, 2015-10-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive Officer, British Retail Consortium, said: “September was a bright month for retail, with the strongest sales performance since January of last year, excluding Easter distortions. However, sales growth was boosted by the August Bank Holiday, which fell in this period as opposed to August last year, shifting back-to-school sales into September, so such strong growth is likely to be overstated. September’s figures were also flattered by a soft comparable period last year, which was the worst performance of 2014. The three month average growth for non-food was 3.7 per cent, ahead of the 3.3 per cent twelve month average. Furniture was September’s top performing category, with the highest sales seen since April of 2014. Footwear, the second best performing category, had its best performance since March of last year.

“There was good news for food sales too, thanks in no small part to the Rugby World Cup. Food had, in real terms, its highest twelve month average sales since February of 2011, which is particularly positive news following a prolonged period of decline. Retailers are seeing some improved consumer demand but they continue to operate in a very competitive environment. They are looking to Government to lighten the excessive tax burden they face.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “With the summer bank holiday falling into September, top line trends for the month were inevitably inflated with total sales up 3.9 per cent compared to 2014. However, taking the 3 months July to September, total sales across all categories also showed a bounce back, up 2.2 per cent in the period suggesting a stronger finish to the British summer overall.

“Fashion sales were given a particular boost in September with more autumnal weather encouraging shoppers to check out the new season ranges and last minute back-to-school purchases lifting sales of children’s clothes and shoes. Home and furniture also benefited from the bank holiday timing as consumers took the opportunity to fit in a bit of redecorating.

“Despite the start of the Rugby World Cup encouraging people to get the beers and burgers in, food and drink sales showed no signs of accelerating in the three months July to September. Grocers will be hoping that consumers will continue to revel in the atmosphere in spite of England’s early exit from the tournament.
“Moving into the final quarter of 2015, retailers will be keeping a watchful eye on Christmas with the launch of festive campaigns starting to wet consumers’ appetites and Black Friday expected to be big again.”

Food & Drink sector performance – Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive, IGD, said: “In recent months food and drink sales have tended to vary a little above or a little below last year’s figure, and September’s performance was almost flat. However, this disguises a huge amount of change taking place. The UK grocery market continues to provide shoppers with more options, including food to go, online, discount and convenience shopping. The major players are also investing in revitalising their stores. The result is three quarters of grocery shoppers are very satisfied with their overall experience; 57 per cent say they like shopping for food, up from 43 per cent seven years ago.”

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.

BRC-KPMG RETAIL SALES MONITOR JUNE 2015: UK retail sales increased 1.8% on a like-for-like basis from June 2014

– UK retail sales increased 1.8% on a like-for-like basis from June 2014, when they had decreased 0.8% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 2.9%, against a 0.6% rise in June 2014. This is the strongest growth since January 2014, excluding Easter distortions and compares with a 12-month average of 1.6%. Adjusted for the BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index deflation, total growth was 4.2%.

– Total Food sales grew again in June for the seventh month in a row, excluding Easter distortions, ahead of their 0.3% decline over the last 12 months. Total Non-Food sales grew 2.6% over the 3 months to June, close to their 12-month average growth of 3.1%.

– Toys & Baby Equipment was the best performing category, helped by outdoor toys, particularly in the last week of the month, when the heat wave stimulated the sales of all seasonal items. Fashion categories were helped by several retailers going into summer sale earlier than last year.

– Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 17.6% in June versus a year earlier, when they had grown 10.6%. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 18.4%, up from 16.9% in June 2014.

LONDON, 2015-7-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “The retail industry performed strongly last month, experiencing the best overall sales growth in eighteen months, excluding Easter distortions, albeit on the back of a weak June last year. Food sales grew for the seventh month in a row, while June also brought with it a boost for the non-food categories, with furniture doing particularly well. Fashion sales were also up, but this was likely helped by several retailers entering summer sales a little earlier this year. The last week of June ended the month on a high note, with seasonal items like outdoor toys in high demand.

“We saw welcome signs of growing consumer confidence, with people more willing to ‘trade-up’ and spend a bit more on big-ticket purchases, likely boosted by the growth in the supply of credit and other factors such as low inflation and rising real incomes. Some of the measures outlined by the Chancellor in last week’s budget are likely to help boost consumer confidence even further, with measures like the continued freeze in fuel duty and the increased personal tax allowance ensuring consumers have more money in their pockets to spend. We also welcome the Chancellor’s focus on increasing productivity. This is of crucial importance to enhancing retailers’ ability to continue to serve their customers better.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “As the Wimbledon tennis championships got underway, June served up an ace for sales of non-food items. After cooler May weather had dampened fashion sales, the glorious sunshine and some significant promotional activity this month lured consumers into a rush to update summer wardrobes. Men’s fashion and footwear sales were also given a particular boost as Dads were treated to something special on Father’s Day.

“Elsewhere, sales of Toys & Baby Equipment bounced up towards the end of the month with seasonal outdoor ranges such as paddling pools and trampolines soaring as consumers looked to make the most of June’s heatwave. The grocers continued to fight to make headway against a deflationary tide. The quarterly decline is distorted by the timing of Easter and I expect to see a better picture emerge next month.

“Moving into July, many eyes will be trained on sector share prices after the market reacted strongly to a number of surprise announcements, particularly around the living wage, in the Chancellor’s Summer Budget. However, with Murray-mania having once again swept the nation, another heatwave on the horizon, and school holidays imminent, retailers will be hoping that the nation’s feel good factor will continue all summer long.”

Food & Drink sector performance – Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive, IGD, said: “June’s food and drink sales were encouraging, especially if judged against the same time last year when the men’s football World Cup provided a brief boost to sales. The heatwave in the final week definitely helped this year’s performance.
“Wages have now outpaced inflation for eight consecutive months and although a quarter (26 per cent) of shoppers still expect their personal finances to deteriorate over the next 12 months, this is a big improvement on the 47 per cent predicting the same in June 2012. With deflation also easing, there are various reasons to believe that food retail sales might have turned a corner although optimism is tempered by the many uncertainties in the global economy.”

Online % change
year-on-year
June 2015 17.6%
June 2014 10.6%
6m average 12.7%
12m average 12.6%

NOTE: More details about online sales can be found in the Online RSM published simultaneously with the RSM.

British Retail Consortium, 21 Dartmouth Street, Westminster, London, SW1H 9BP. 020 7854 8900. info@brc.org.uk.