Sales volumes returned to growth

Responding to the latest ONS Retail Sales Index figures, which showed sales up 3.4% by value, and up 0.4% by volume, Kris Hamer, Director of Insight at the British Retail Consortium, said:

“Sales volumes returned to growth in March, helped by sales of food, beverages and household goods. While consumer confidence remains weak, it is well above levels seen last year. Large ticket items like furniture continued to sell badly as consumer spend remains restrained by the high cost of living, and footwear sales were impacted by the poor weather. With brighter weather on the way, retailers are starting to plan their summer collections, and are hopeful that consumers will be looking to refresh their homes and wardrobes.”

“If the next Government wants to boost investment and jobs in town and city centres across the country, it must recognise the crucial part that retail, as the Everywhere Economy, plays in achieving this. As one of the largest employers in most areas of the country, retail plays a unique role in building communities and generating economic growth in many left behind regions. The future Government must champion a pro-growth policy, addressing cost burdens on businesses, so retailers can unlock important investment up and down the UK.”