Press releases

Deloitte comments on ONS retail sales

19 September 2019

Commenting on today’s ONS retail sales figures, Ian Geddes, head of retail at Deloitte, said:

“August’s retail sales values and volumes, excluding fuel, were strong compared to 2018, at 2.9% and 2.2% respectively. Whilst year-on-year sales for department stores and household goods have dropped, they were up against tough comparatives from a summer that saw the World Cup boost TV sales, and good weather helping garden furniture sales.

“That said, today’s figures do not include the late August Bank Holiday, which turned out to be the hottest on record so, despite overall growth, sales could have been stronger still. Instead, next month’s figures could be inflated as a result of this, alongside the seasonal 'back to school' boost.

“Economic fundamentals remain favourable for consumers - including low inflation, low interest rates and wage growth – though nervousness remains as a result of continued political uncertainty. However, there is a real opportunity for retailers to attract new customers as well as retain loyal customers through continued investment in their online and in-store experiences.

“At the same time, retailers are now looking ahead to the business end of the year and will be planning for big retail events such as Black Friday and Christmas. While discounting and promotion strategies tend to be planned months in advance, the difficulty experienced in shifting discretionary electrical goods this summer could cause retailers to rethink their approach and plan for bigger and longer promotional events.”


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