Deloitte comments on ONS retail sales - July 2019
18 July 2019
Commenting on today’s ONS retail sales figures, Ian Geddes, head of retail at Deloitte, said:
“After a damp May, retail sales were boosted in June with sales values and volumes both up month-on-month by 1.3% and 1%, respectively, and up 4.3% and 3.8% compared to the same period last year.
“June’s food sales also increased, albeit at a slower rate of 0.6% year-on-year. Whilst a cooler Spring Bank Holiday may have failed to spark the first of the year’s barbecues, sales in non-food edged up 0.7% month-on-month, boosted by the re-commerce market as antiques and charity shops attracted the growing ‘conscious consumer’. After a period of clothing sales declines, consumers have also reacted well to end-of-season discounting, with clothing sales growing by 1.5% compared to May 2019.
“Online sales, which have gradually slowed since the start of the year, fell another -0.7% this month, accounting for 18.9% of total retail sales.
“At a macro level, unemployment, interest and inflation rates have all remained low throughout the first half of the year, with household incomes consistently high. Regardless, consumer confidence has remained flat and goods purchases held off, often in favour of experiences.
“The start of summer’s high season has so far brought a bumper month for sports in women’s football, tennis and cricket, and retailers should expect a much sunnier sales forecast for the remainder of the season. Likewise, with large-scale campaign days, many high street retailers will boost their own sales through price-matched and secondary purchases.
“Retailers may not be high and dry just yet but, with the late arrival of summer sunshine, sales may just be starting to warm up.”
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