Summer adds sizzle to UK retail sales

Notwithstanding research by Visa which found consumer spending fell for the third month in a row in July, retail sales growth picked up in the year to July as a whole at +22 per cent, out-performing June expectations (+3 per cent).

The CBI Distributive Trades Survey of 111 firms, of which 57 were retailers, shows that the healthy growth in volume of sales was driven by grocery and clothing sales in particular, while orders placed on suppliers rose at a solid pace for a second consecutive month.

– 40 per cent of respondents expect sales volumes to increase in August

– 32 per cent of retailers placed more orders with suppliers than they did a year ago

– 23 per cent of retailers reported that their volume of sales for the time of year were good

Internet sales volumes also expanded at a steady pace in the year to July (+43 per cent) and are expected to grow at near similar pace in the year to August (+41 per cent).

Anna Leach, CBI Head of Economic Intelligence, says: “The warm summer has added a sizzle to our high streets as shoppers defied expectations, with sales growth in clothing shops and grocers driving overall performance.

“But while retailers expect a similar pace of growth next month, the factors underpinning their sales growth are more shaky. Although employment is strong, real incomes are falling in the wake of higher inflation, and that’s expected to feed slower consumer spending growth ahead.”

At Beavis Morgan, our specialist advisers to the retail sector understand that, in this competitive environment, retail business owners must work hard to win customer loyalty, adapt to the ever-changing customer demands, increase productivity and strengthen their market position.

We work with a number of retail businesses, helping them with strategic planning, business turnaround and improving business performance for the future.

For further information about how we can help you and your retail business, contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.