Bira comments on KPMG Retail Sales Monitor report

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has responded to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor for February 2022 with a degree of optimism.

The report, which can be downloaded here, highlighted strong retail sales and the following points:

  • UK retail sales increased 2.7% on a Like-for-like basis from February 2021, when they had increased 9.5%. This was worse than the 3-month average growth of 3.5% and the 12-month average growth of 8.5%.
  • On a Total basis, sales increased by 6.7% in February, against an increase of 1.0% in February 2021. This is ahead of the 3-month average growth of 6.5% but worse than the 12-month average growth of 11.3%.
  • Over the three months to February, Food sales increased 0.1% on a Total basis and decreased 0.3% on a Like-for-like basis. This is below than the 12-month Total average growth of 1.7%. For the single month of February, Food was in decline year-on-year.
  • Over the three-months to February, Non-Food retail sales increased by 12.0% on a Total basis and by 6.9% on a Like-for-like basis. This is worse than the 12-month Total average growth of 19.4%. For the single month of February, Non-Food was in growth year-on-year.
  • Over the three months to February, In-Store sales of Non-Food items grew 71.2% on a Total basis and 57.2% on a Like-for-like basis. This was an improvement on the Total 12-month average growth of 61.6%.
  • Online Non-Food sales decreased by 28.4% during February, compared with growth of 82.2% February 2021. This is worse than the 3-month decline of 21.5%. Non-Food Online penetration rate decreased to 40.8% in February from 65.4% in February 2021. However, it was up 10.0 percentage points on the 30.8% seen at the same point in 2020.

In response to this statement, Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “The UK economy bounced back in January, and better than expected. We have also seen retail sales growth in January and February with the return of people in shops and a reduction in on-line shopping.

“The recent set of figures would normally allow us to look forward with a degree of optimism. However, there is so much uncertainty at the moment with rising inflation, rising business costs and the war in Ukraine that any optimism is shadowed by real concerns for the rest of 2022.

“There will be real pressure on consumer spending and we know that the costs of running retail businesses is rising at a faster rate than sales. Later this month the chancellor will be making his Spring statement and we are asking him to cancel the proposed increase in business rates and retain the amounts paid by business in 2021.”

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