Commenting on today’s ONS retail sales figures, Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte
26 March 2015
“Today’s numbers are stronger than many anticipated, but we feel they represent a solid rather than spectacular performance. Given the strengthening of the UK economy and the fact that many consumers now have more money in their pockets, we might have expected more. However, low inflation across the market and record deflation in the food sector, combined with the falling cost of oil and other commodities and the strength of the pound have continued to hold back growth. We also believe that the retail market is increasingly competing with the leisure sector for consumers’ discretionary spending. Looking forward we feel optimistic and believe that as consumer finances continue to improve it will begin to be felt in the retail market. Low levels of inflation in the current environment should increase confidence and consumers’ willingness to spend in the medium term.
“Looking at the performance by sector, non-food continues to outperform the food sector with strong growth from clothing and household goods. The strength of the clothing sector was also evident from lower levels of discounting. Household goods continue to benefit from activity in the housing market despite the decline in transaction volumes in recent months. In the grocery sector competition continues to intensify as some of the leading players sharpen their pricing strategies to better compete with the discounters.”
Notes to editors
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.
Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.
The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.
Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.