BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor April 2014

BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor April 2014

BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor April 2014. Covering the four weeks 6 April 2014 – 3 May 2014.

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  • UK retail sales were up 4.2% on a like-for-like basis from April 2013, when they had decreased 2.2% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 5.7%, against a 0.6% fall in April 2013. Growth was positively distorted by the timing of Easter.
  • Furniture & Flooring was the best performing category, reporting its highest growth since Easter 2006. Strong growth was also recorded in Other Non-Food and Children’s fashion.
  • Including both the positive and the negative distortions from Easter, the 12-month total sales growth now stands at 2.8%, ahead of the average CPI over the 12 months to March at 2.3%. 
  • Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 11.2% in April versus a year earlier. The Non-Food online penetration rate was 16.1% in April, the lowest since April 2013. 

Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “Online sales have grown steadily over the last year with a twelve month average change of 12.7 per cent year on year which is testament to the great British online retail offering. However the April 2014 growth of 11.2 per cent against 12.8 per cent in March shows that, when an opportunity like the Easter holiday arises, customers like to enjoy a great experience in store.

“Retailers know that customers want to experience shopping across all channels and have risen to the challenge of using digital technology to draw customers into new format stores where everything is available at the touch of a button.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “While the Easter break helped the high street, the sunshine proved to be something of a distraction to the online channel, which saw sales slow, with just over 16 per cent of non-food items bought online. While this is a fall on previous months’ levels, it is an expected blip and reminds us that when the sun shines and people are on holiday, they are still attracted by the theatre of the store. Now the Easter bank holiday season has passed, I expect online sales to continue unabated.”


The Online BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor measures changes in the actual value (including VAT) of online retail sales, excluding automotive fuel. The Monitor measures the value of spending and hence does not adjust for price or VAT changes. If prices are rising, sales volumes will increase by less than sales values. In times of price deflation, sales volumes will increase by more than sales values.

Retailers report the value of their online sales for the current period and the equivalent period a year ago.

Total Non-Food sales growth is the percentage change in the value of all retail sales with the exception of food sales compared to the same period a year earlier. The total Non-Food sales measure is used to assess market level trends in Non-Food retail sales. Non-Food retail spending represents approximately 55% of total retail sales.

Online (including mail order and phone) sales of Non-Food are transactions which take place over the internet, or via mail order or phone. Online sales growth is the percentage change in the value of online sales compared to those in the same period a year earlier. It is a guide to the growth of sales made by all non-store channels.

Penetration is the proportion of sales attributed to the online channel (including mail order and phone). Penetrations are calculated category by category as online sales submitted by participating retailers relative to total sales those retailers submit to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor. Participants who do not sell online (or through non-store channels) are included but participants who do sell online but do not submit their online sales are excluded.

The responses provided by retailers within each sales category are weighted* to reflect the contribution of each category to total retail sales, thus making it representative of UK retail sales as a whole. The rates used are derived from the Office of National Statistics Family Spending Survey and revised every year. Because the figures compare sales this month with the comparable period last year, a seasonal adjustment is not made.

However, changes in the timing of Bank Holidays and Easter can create distortions, which should be considered in the interpretation of the data.

In its role as sponsor of the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, KPMG is responsible for the aggregation of the retail sales data provided by the retailers on a weekly basis. This data consists of the relevant current week’s sales data and comparative sales figures for the same period in the prior year. The aggregation has been performed by KPMG on data for periods following 2 April 2000 and equivalent prior periods. The accuracy of the data is entirely the responsibility of the retailers providing it. The sponsorship role has been performed by KPMG since 10 April 2000 and the same for the aggregation of comparative sales figures for the period from 2 April 2000 it is not responsible for the aggregation of any data included in this Monitor relating to any period prior to 2 April 2000.

* The aggregation and weighting of data for the ‘online’ monitor has been performed by the BRC and KPMG for periods starting 25 November 2012 and equivalent prior year periods. Prior to that date, the online figures in this monitor refer to the unweighted Non-Food non store indicator, as published in the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor until July 2013.

The commentary from the BRC is intended to be of general interest to readers but is not advice or a recommendation and should not be relied upon without first taking professional advice. Anyone choosing to rely on it does so at his or her own risk. To the fullest extent permitted by law, KPMG will accept no responsibility or liability in connection with its sponsorship of the Monitor and its aggregation work to any party other than the BRC.

© Copyright British Retail Consortium and KPMG


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Media Enquiries:

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KPMG Press Office : 020 7694 8773


The May 2014 Monitor, covering the four weeks 4 May – 31 May, will be released at 00.01am Tuesday 10 June 2014.

The data is collected for the BRC by KPMG.

This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.

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