With the arrival of summer and England’s second equal warmest June on record* the retail industry has seen a much welcomed pick-up in sales growth.
Figures published by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show that in the month of June, UK retail sales increased by 1.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis from June 2016, when they had decreased 0.5 per cent from the preceding year.
Summer clothing, beauty products and outdoor toys all saw a boost in sales, as did gift purchases over Eid. During the three months to June, food sales also increased, as did online sales of non-food products.
Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the BRC comments: “Looking ahead, there’s a question mark over whether this spending momentum will last, as household expenditure is increasingly squeezed from rising inflation and slowing wage growth. The reality is that retailers’ efforts in absorbing mounting cost pressures into their margins are already being tested, so the Government must have the consumer front of mind as it enters the UK’s trading negotiations with the EU, to avoid any further cost increases to retailers and their customers.”
Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive of IGD, an education and training charity for the food and grocery industry, adds: “The inconclusive election result has introduced further uncertainty and this will test the sector’s momentum. However, there has also been a further injection of shopper patriotism with 47 per cent saying it is very important to support British producers, up from 41 per cent last September.”
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.
*Source: The Met Office