UK retail sales improved across the board in October, according to the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KPMG monitor.
In the four weeks from October 2 to October 29, sales rose 1.7% on a like-for-like basis Total sales climbed 2.4% against a 0.9% increase in October 2015. This is the strongest growth since January, and is far ahead of the three-month and 12-month averages, which both stand at 1.1%.
In the three-months to October, non-food lifted 0.6% on a like-for-like basis and 0.8% on a total basis. This represents a pick-up compared with September but remains below the 12-month average of 1.4%.
Over the same period, online sales grew 11.1% while in-store sales declined 1.3% on a total basis and 1.5% on a like-for-like basis.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson commented: “October’s figures paint a more positive picture of retail sales. There was a more balanced contribution from all product categories, nearly all of which saw a degree of sales growth.
“Notably, fashion saw a reversal of recent fortunes, as new seasonal ranges drew shoppers in and boosted sales. Electronics too saw a strong sales resulting from new product releases and was a significant driver of the month’s performance. This was compounded by international shoppers’ spending, which has soared since July as tourists take advantage of the weak pound to buy luxury goods at bargain prices.
“It’s clear from these figures that despite the inflationary pressure that’s gradually building in the supply chain, retailers are currently effectively managing the additional cost burdens and continue to entice their customers with great choice and value.”
KPMG UK head of retail Paul Martin added: “It’s been a spooktacular month for retailers this October, with total sales up 2.4% – continuing the ongoing theme of UK shoppers being undeterred by the prospect of Brexit. With Black Friday weekend and Christmas looming, retailers they will be hoping to maintain momentum by capturing the attention of shoppers in the noisiest time of year.