UK Retail Sales Up by 3.3%
All retail sales values in May 2012 are estimated to have increased by 3.3 per cent compared with May 2011, while the volumes are up by by 2.4 per cent compared with May 2011.
Store price inflation has slowed to 0.9 per cent, its lowest annual rate since October 2009. Sales volumes in non-specialised stores are estimated to have increased by 11.3 per cent compared with May 2011.
The total amount spent in the retail sector between 29 April 2012 and 26 May 2012 is estimated at £26.4 billion, non-seasonally adjusted, up from £26.0 billion in April 2012 and £25.6 billion in May 2011. This equates to an average weekly spend of £6.6 billion in May 2012.
The average weekly value for Internet sales is estimated at £510.9 million meaning that the proportion of retail sales excluding automotive fuel that are made via the Internet now stands at 8.8 per cent.
David McCorquodale, European Head of Retail at KPMG comments on the latest Retail Sales figures from the Office for National Statistics: “A combination of summer sun and heavy discounting saw shoppers return to the high street and the tills ring once again. Value for money remains at the forefront of the consumer’s agenda, who will only part with their hard earned cash if the price is right.
“But slashing prices means retailers pay a heavy price in profitability. Some will soon need to make hard decisions about how long they can continue to pursue prolonged discounting without damaging the long term health of their business.
“While May’s sales provided a ray of hope for beleaguered retailers, the British weather soon intervened to put a dampener on proceedings. Only time will tell if June’s torrential downpours dampened the Jubilee spirit and washed away much needed sales.”
Last April, the retail sales volumes dipped 2.3% thanks to record drop in demand for fuel after panic buying in March.