UK retail sales in May saw their highest growth since January 2014. The month saw a rebound for both the online sector and the high street, according to the latest Retail Sales Monitor report from the BRC (British Retail Consortium) compiled KPMG. You can find the report here.
Numerous positive factors came into play, including good weather and bank holidays, which gave a particular filip to food and drinks as the barbie was hosed down. But they warn of more turbulent times ahead owing to economic weakness and Brexit uncertainty.
Better weather and the bank holiday effect led shoppers to buy from garden furniture and summer fashion ranges; recovering some of the ground lost in April. Food sales also stood out with the best single month’s performance since July 2013. Encouragingly, growth was seen across channels as stores made a comeback with their best showing in 16 months. Despite this more positive set of sales results, the retail environment remains extremely challenging, with trend growth still very low by historical standards. Retailers remain focused on investing in new and exciting shopping experiences for the future as margins remain tight and the competition fierce.
– Helen Dickinson, the Chief Executive of BRC
These UK retail sales numbers are encouraging and it is also heartening to note that the high street still has life in it. However, the British economy and sterling against the euro can expect to see turbulence in the weeks to come as the next round of difficult negotiations (focussing on trade issues) get underway,
Are you feeling optimistic?