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

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BRC Chief Executive: The slowdown in overall non-food sales was mirrored online in May as annual growth fell to its lowest on record

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

BRC – KPMG ONLINE RETAIL SALES MONITOR MAY 2017

Covering the four weeks 30 April – 27 May 2017

  • Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 4.3% in May compared to 13.7% rise a year earlier. This is the lowest growth since December 2012.
  • Over the 3 months to May, Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 7.0% year-on-year, the lowest in the BRC series started in December 2012.
  • In May 2017, Online sales represented 22.1% of total Non-Food sales in the UK, against 21.2% in May 2016. On a 3-month basis, penetration rate was 21.9%.
  • Over the 3 months to May, Online sales added 1.3 percentage points to the year-on-year growth of Total Non-Food sales. In contrast, In-Store sales made a negative 3-month contribution of 1.2 percentage points. In May, Online sales contributed 0.9 percentage points to Non-Food growth.
  • Over the 3 months to May, In-Store sales fell, posting declines of 1.8% on a total basis and 2.3% on a like-for-like basis. For the month of May, In-Store sales declined by 4.4%, a striking decline, the sharpest decline since the BRC series started in December 2012.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive | British Retail Consortium said:

“The slowdown in overall non-food sales was mirrored online in May as annual growth fell to its lowest on record. Though sales in all categories but one saw growth, this was subdued as consumers held back on non-essential purchases.

“Where there is willingness to spend on non-food items, this is largely concentrated on value-lines. The clothing and beauty categories in particular were boosted by some late season promotions, which looks promising for those retailers who will be launching their mid-season sales this month.

“For the second consecutive month, the increase in the online penetration rate has remained below one percentage point. Retailers will be increasingly looking to innovate and optimise their online channels to convert a greater share of online browsing into sales.”

Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail | KPMG said:
“Whilst non-food online sales continue to deliver growth, the significant news is that this month’s year-on-year growth is the lowest recorded since our online retail sales monitor began back in December 2012. Broadly speaking, most categories noted a rise, but growth had clearly been muted due to shoppers clawing back on non-food purchases.

“Bucking the general trend, health and beauty products continue to be the rising star, with holiday season, sunshine and hay fever likely to be fuelling this growth. Elsewhere, the more seasonal weather in the month is likely to be behind fashion sales performing better.

“With such meagre growth in online sales in May, it is vital online retailers master the art of customer-centricity and personalisation. Ensuring the right products are available at the right time, and that surplus stock is not sold at significantly reduced prices, is becoming ever more important.  Success will come from an ability to target the online shoppers who spend more and return less.”

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Source: BRC

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.”

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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:
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EMAIL: media@brc.org.uk
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Source: BRC

Non-Food products online sales in UK up 6.6% in March 2017 vs 2016’s March, BRC – KPMG

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

BRC – KPMG ONLINE RETAIL SALES MONITOR MARCH 2017

Covering the five weeks 26 February – 1 April 2017

  • Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 6.6% in March versus a year earlier, when they had increased by 9.5%. This is the lowest growth since August, below the 3-month and 12-month averages of 7.4% and 9.0% respectively but is negatively distorted by the timing of Easter.
  • Over the 3 months to March, Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 7.4% year-on-year, the lowest since May 2013. Over the same period, Total Non-Food sales in the UK fell by 0.8%, the second consecutive month of 3-month average decline
  • In March 2017, Online sales represented 22.0% of total Non-Food sales in the UK, against 20.9% in March 2016. On a 3-month basis, penetration rate was 22.3%.
  • Over the 3 months to March, Online sales contributed 1.7 percentage points to the year-on-year growth of Total Non-Food sales. In contrast, In-Store sales made a negative 3-month contribution of 2.5 percentage points. In March, Online sales contributed 1.2 percentage points to Non-Food growth
  • Over the 3 months to March, In-Store sales fell, posting declines of 3.0% on a total basis and 3.4% on a like-for-like basis. For the month of March, In-Store sales showed a decline, exaggerated by the timing of Easter.

HELEN DICKINSON OBE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BRITISH RETAIL CONSORTIUM

“Online non-food sales growth in March was dampened by the later timing of Easter this year. Those products historically popular with shoppers over the long weekend, notably larger homeware items, took a hit but will feel the benefit during April instead. Health and beauty products on the other hand, achieved the strongest sales growth of all categories thanks to gift purchases for Mother’s Day, while gaming and electricals continue to be online bestsellers as customers are enticed with new product launches.

“Retailers continue to innovate and invest in their digital offers to attract customers amidst the intense competition. Mobile optimisation has been the focus for many and some are already reaping the benefits of higher conversion rates as customers enjoy speedier browsing activity. Meanwhile, for fashion retailers, new free delivery initiatives have successfully driven increased loyalty from those customers who sign up.”

PAUL MARTIN, UK HEAD OF RETAIL, KPMG

“Online retail sales in March fared better than the high street, with non-food sales up 6.6 per cent in the month. That said, we haven’t seen growth this low since August last year and the timing of Easter is likely to have had an impact. Demand in UK retail is also showing signs of slowing down more broadly.

“Most categories did note growth in the month however, with health and beauty performing particularly well. It is likely Mother’s Day provided a helping hand, and with temperatures being milder than usual for the month, shoppers were also shrugging off the shackles of winter. Fashion sales also proved especially popular, with spring collections seemingly striking the right chord with shoppers.

“The later timing of Easter is likely to have contributed to the sluggish furniture and homeware sales in the month.  Interest in these categories will probably pick-up in the coming month, with the holiday providing an opportunity for home improvements.

“It remains to be seen if the slowdown in online sales is just a temporary blip or a more significant occurrence.”

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

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: Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 8.0% in February YoY

  • Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 8.0% in February versus a year earlier, when they had increased by 10.7%. This is above the 3-month average of 7.7% and the 12-month average of 9.3%. This is the second month in a row the 12-month average has sat below double-digit figures.
  • Over the 3 months to February, Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 7.7% year-on-year, the lowest 3-month average since our monitor began. Over the same period, Total Non-Food sales in the UK fell by 0.2%, the first decline since November 2011.
  • In February 2017, Online sales represented 22.2% of total Non-Food sales in the UK, against 21.0% in February 2016. On a 3-month basis, penetration rate was 23.2%.
  • Over the 3 months to February, Online sales contributed 2.3 percentage points to the year-on-year growth of Total Non-Food sales. In contrast, In-Store sales made a negative 3-month contribution of 2.5 percentage points. In February, Online sales contributed 1.8 percentage points to Non-Food growth.
  • Over the 3 months to February, In-Store sales fell, posting declines of 2.4% on a total basis and 2.6% on a like-for-like basis. For the month of February, In-Store sales showed a decline.

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

“A fairly stable rate of online growth has again helped compensate for declines in stores. The online market has now grown to over 20 per cent of total non-food sales, and as a result growth of 8.0 per cent is understandable if not as impressive in previous years and helps explain the lowest 3-month average rate of year-on-year growth since May 2013.“Digital platforms remain the preference for a savvy shopper to search for the items they want at the best price, and helps explain why clothing and electronics have driven online growth when sales in stores have flagged. A later Mother’s Day this year has distorted the figures for February, since purchases which were made in the final week of February last year will now fall in March’s figures this year. We expect March’s growth to be stronger due to the impact of this distortion and of new video game releases.”

PAUL MARTIN, UK HEAD OF RETAIL, KPMG

“Online retail sales in February provide further contrast to the poor performance noted on the high street. Non-food online sales are up 8% on last year and penetration rates remain stable at 22.2%.

“Interestingly, many of the categories that failed to capture the attention of shoppers in store, did so online – including clothing and footwear. Carefully placed promotions and the shorter wait until pay day in February are likely to have nudged online shoppers to e-checkouts.

“School half-term will also have contributed to online retailer’s stronger performance and notably children’s toys performed particularly well during the month.

“In the run up to the Budget, online retailers will be eager to learn if the Chancellor looks to support the retail sector. The business rate rise has been hotly contested, given the varying impact the proposed changes will have on retailers utilising physical or online retail channels.”

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: Toy category boosted online sales in September

London, 2016-Oct-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — HELEN DICKINSON OBE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BRITISH RETAIL CONSORTIUM: “As with total sales, online saw an improvement on last month’s performance and fell back in line with the twelve-month average of above 10 per cent. Interestingly, for the first time online was a popular shopping destination for back- to school purchases, testament to retailers successfully ramping up their digital services and making it an integral part of the customer offer. Promotional activity in the toy category, which was September’s top performing category, also boosted online sales as the early birds were enticed to start their Christmas shopping.

“Online shopping is still the main source of sales growth for UK retailers, but popular services like click & collect and show rooming are significant drivers of online sales meaning physical stores still have a crucial role to play. Shoppers are more and more using a combination of the internet and high-street stores for the whole shopping journey; from browsing to the purchase itself. The result is that shops are increasingly becoming a destination to experience products rather than just to buy them.”

PAUL MARTIN, NEWLY APPOINTED HEAD OF RETAIL, KPMG: “With summer coming to an end and “back to school” the main event in September, online shopping growth accelerated in the month with non-food sales up 10.2 per cent compared to last year and penetration rates rising to 21.1 per cent.

“Children’s toys performed strongest in terms of growth, no doubt spurred on by notable promotions from some of the major retailers in this sector. Likewise, health and beauty, furniture and home accessories all experienced a ringing at e-checkouts, as consumers looked to bag a bargain in the end of season sales.

“Compared to a dreary performance on the high-street, women’s fashion performed well online. However, footwear didn’t stand up to the success observed in-store, notably the only category which saw a decline online this month. Nevertheless, all eyes will be fixed on maintaining online sales momentum between now and Black Friday – the next major e-tail moment in the 2016 calendar.”

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: 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