High-street sales

May saw a modest rebound in high street sales according to industry figures, helped by warm weather as shoppers stocked up on summer supplies (1).

Key drivers for May’s sales were children’s clothes & footwear, summer fashion and food and drink (2).

Helen Dickenson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said, “Today’s figures bring better news for the UK’s retailers. After two months of flat sales May saw growth of 1.4 per cent. While still not spectacular, it is in line with the 12-month average of 1.5 per cent” (2).

Whilst there was an increase in sales of household appliances, beauty products and toys during May, sales of larger items, such as furnishings did not enjoy the same rises. This may be a consequence of a slowdown in house sales (1). According to The Halifax, house price inflation in May was the slowest since last autumn (3).

Competition remains fierce in the retail sector, and shop price deflation continues (2). Pressure is on retailers to continue to compete on price due to lower levels of disposable income, a YouGov poll conducted for the Times shows (4).

  1. (1) – High street sales make modest rebound helped by warm weather in May – The Guardian
  2. (2) – BRC – KPMG Retail Sales Monitor May 2016 – British Retail Consortium
  3. (3) – House price slowdown to continue, Halifax says – BBC News
  4. (4) – Third of middle classes too short of cash to pay a £500 bill – The Times