Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, reflects on ONS retail figures.
“As mirrored in our own BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor, it was a disappointing month for textiles, clothing and footwear, which were the only categories to note a year-on-year decrease in growth both on the high street and online. Warmer weather and perhaps uninspiring collections were likely to have dissuaded shoppers from investing in autumn and winter clothing in September. These figures are also likely to be a disappointment for those retailers who were pinning hopes on ‘back to school’ for a much needed boost.
“In contrast, the main contributors to year-on-year retail growth were increasing sales in department and household goods stores, as well as online and other non-store retailers, suggesting that shoppers were opting for home improvements rather than renewing their wardrobes.
“With pricing and inflation very much in the media spotlight this month, October’s figures will be particularly noteworthy. September’s ONS retail sales figures pointed to consumer confidence remaining steady since the EU referendum in June and retailers will be hoping for this trend to continue as we move into the all-important golden quarter.”
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