Gloomy Spring weather hits retail sales

Responding to the latest ONS Retail Sales Index figures, which showed sales down 1.5% by value, and down 3.0% by volume, Kris Hamer, Director of Insight at the British Retail Consortium, said:

“Sales volumes saw significant decline in April, falling for the third time in five months as the gloomy, wet weather combined with the cost of living squeeze dampened spending. Cosmetics continued to sell well, and computer sales were boosted thanks to promotional activity and consumers upgrading their tech a few years after the pandemic surge in tech sales. Meanwhile, clothing and footwear and furniture failed to deliver due to the poor weather and consumers thinking twice before buying high ticket items.

“With summer around the corner, and inflation fast approaching the Bank of England’s 2% target, retailers are hopeful that consumer confidence will improve, and spending will pick up once again. Retail is crucial to healthy local economies, and if the next Government wants to boost growth and jobs in left behind regions, it must help unlock retail investment right across the country. With a General Election fast approaching, political parties must ensure their manifestos detail how they will support retail, the three million people it employs, and the 60 million people it serves.”