According to the first estimate of UK retail sales in volume and value terms published by ONS (Office for National Statistics) on March 21, both the quantity bought and amount spent in the retail industry showed strong growth of 4.3% and 4.0% respectively in February 2019 compared with a year earlier.
The monthly picture showed moderate growth of 0.4% for the quantity bought and 0.6% for the amount spent. The three-month on three-month movement showed a similar picture, with increases of 0.7% for the quantity bought and 0.6% for the amount spent.
Andrew Goodacre, ceo of Bira (British Independent Retailers Association), commented: “The positive results for retail sales growth in February are encouraging and will certainly be a help to many struggling retailers. The surprising warmer weather will have got people in the buying mood.
“However, it is still an incredibly difficult market and margins continue to be under pressure. Retailers still need help and these results shouldn’t be a distraction from the issues they face on a daily basis, in particular the ever-increasing costs and paperwork.
“Local authorities can support their local independent retail businesses by automatically implementing the forthcoming reduction in rates for those with a rateable value of £51,000 or below for example.”
Bira ceo Andrew Goodacre