Retailers made hay while the sun shone in May, according to ONS figures

Retailers made hay while the sun shone in May

David McCorquodale, UK head of retail, comments on today’s ONS retail statistics.

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“Against the backdrop of increase costs from the implementation of the National Living Wage along with continued pricing pressures across the sector, today’s ONS retail figures will be heartily welcomed by retailers as better weather lifted the Nation’s mood encouraging shoppers to buy more in all categories. With prices falling 2.8% in total compared with May 2015, consumers loosened the purse strings, spending more across the board with the only exception being textiles, clothing and footwear. 

“Online year-on-year growth soared with sales up 21.5% compared with just 9.3% growth in April. Fashion and footwear was the standout category, however, as the appearance of warmer weather and cleverly timed promotions inspired shoppers to hunt down summer bargains. 

“The Grocers will be also be particularly buoyed as consumers bought more and spent more during May, despite the fact that food and drink prices continue to be one of the largest downward pulls on inflation. No doubt the May Bank Holiday and school half-term encouraged people to stay home for family roasts and summer BBQs. 

“With June weather looking temperamental at best, retailers will need to ensure online campaigns can tempt consumers to keep spending as rain forecast may mean shoppers choose login rather than walk-in over the next month.”  

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