Press releases

Deloitte's Ian Geddes comments on today’s ONS retail sales figures

19 May 2016

Commenting on today’s ONS retail sales figures, Ian Geddes, head of retail at Deloitte, said:
“April’s retail sales values have increased 1.2% year-on-year. The long Easter break falling in March has meant that retailers have not benefitted from having a key shopping weekend in April. This has led to particularly poor sales in the clothing and fashion sector, exacerbated by another month of unseasonably cold weather.

“Online sales values have increased 9.3% year on year, and 1.7% compared to March. Significantly, the strongest growth in online came from household goods, which has seen year-on-year sales increases of 33%. This indicates that more and more UK consumers are buying electricals and technology products online rather than ‘trying and buying’ in store.

Geddes added: “It is clear from our research that consumers are increasingly choosing to spend their money on leisure activities, rather than spending on retail. Lower inflation has boosted consumers’ purchasing power, enabling them to spend more on discretionary items, such as holidays. Low prices on everyday purchases has limited the rise in spending on essentials, which is being felt by retailers, particularly grocers.

“The retail and leisure industry will be looking forward to the feel-good-factor that summer may bring, with the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations, Wimbledon and the Rio Olympics likely to boost confidence – and, importantly, spending - in the short term. England’s progress in the Euro 2016 Championships may well determine whether UK retailers’ win or lose this quarter.”


Notes to editors

About Deloitte
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 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.

George Parrett
Deloitte LLP
+44 (0) 20 7007 7285

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