Retail gross sales stay flat in February regardless of poor climate boosting on-line spending

Retail gross sales volumes have been flat in February, partly because of the unhealthy climate, regardless of a lift in on-line spending throughout clothes.

The Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS) mentioned gross sales progress hit 0.0% in February, down from progress of three.6% in January, a determine which had been revised up by 0.2 share factors.

The ONS mentioned a “delicate however moist” month the place southern England noticed its wettest February on document had helped to weigh on gross sales.

Meals retailers noticed their gross sales drop by 0.3% in the course of the month, with those that responded to the ONS survey blaming the climate for lowering the variety of individuals visiting the retailers.

A fall in gas gross sales, down 1.3%, was blamed on greater costs. These falls have been sufficient to offset the rise in gross sales volumes at clothes and shops, which have been boosted by new collections.

General, non-food shops, which embody garments sellers, noticed their gross sales volumes enhance by 1.7% in the course of the months.

In the meantime, the quantity spent on-line, particularly on garments, rose 2.1% in the course of the month, the biggest single rise since July, when poor climate was additionally to thank.

“Retail gross sales have been flat in February,” mentioned ONS Senior Statistician, Heather Bovill.

“There was progress in clothes, which rebounded after current falls as individuals invested within the new season’s collections, in addition to shops.

“Nevertheless, these have been offset by falls in gas gross sales, presumably affected by rising costs, and a discount in meals gross sales.

“Many retailers instructed us that the moist climate hit in-store gross sales, with on-line as a substitute seeing a lift.”

Lisa Hooker, Chief of Business for Client Markets on the PwC consultancy, added: “Little shock that retail gross sales have been unable to proceed the momentum of the obvious bounceback witnessed in January’s numbers following a lacklustre Christmas.

“General, February’s retail gross sales figures affirm that, regardless of falling inflation, a 2% minimize in nationwide insurance coverage initially of 2024, and enhancing client confidence of their private funds, consumers are nonetheless hesitant to half with their hard-earned money.

“With inflation forecast to fall to the Financial institution of England’s 2% goal in April, along with a 9.8% rise in nationwide dwelling wage and an extra 2% minimize to nationwide insurance coverage, retailers will probably be hoping that the spring brings inexperienced shoots after a difficult final 18 months.”

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