“Fashion and outdoor retailers put in a strong performance this month, as warmer weather encouraged consumers to restock their wardrobes and get back out into the garden. The arrival of spring sunshine undoubtedly played a leading role in this success story: this time last year sales were pitifully weak, due to a prolonged winter and unseasonably cold weather.
“Overall non food retailers have had a respectable first quarter. This positive trend points to the beginnings of a sales recovery, but we ought not to forget these are against last year’s weaker comparables. The ONS statistics also show that the food market remains incredibly competitive and it was the only sector not to post a year on year rise in sales in March. This highlights the numerous challenges the grocers are facing, from food price deflation to overcapacity in the sector.
“In the next quarter demand should be bolstered by measures which will give consumers more disposable income. With an increase to the personal tax allowance taking effect this month, and wage growth breaking through the inflation barrier, this will give many consumers more pennies in their pocket and help feed the growing recovery.”
Notes to editors:
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KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 11,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2013. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 155,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.