Deloitte comments on today's ONS Retail Sales figures
20 January 2017
Commenting on today’s ONS retail sales figures, Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte, said:
“December’s retail sales values increased by 5.6% from the previous year – a strong month that ended a strong fourth quarter and what was, on the whole, a good year for retail. Following November’s very good Black Friday figures, it is not surprising that the month-on-month figures, both in terms of value and volume, are slightly down, by 2% and 1.5% respectively (ex-fuel). Nevertheless, the timing of Christmas, falling on a Sunday, worked in favour for retailers who were able to capitalise on the trading hours on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.
“Grocery performed well in the lead up to the festive break. Significantly, consumers spent an average £1bn a week online in December - the 21.3% year-on-year growth in online sales is a clear indication of changing times and reinforces the need for retailers to provide consumers with accessible digital offerings. The figures were further boosted by the continued weakening of the pound which encouraged ‘tourist shoppers’ - foreign consumers seeking to grab a bargain and taking advantage of the cheaper pound.
“There are a number of known challenges facing the retail industry over the next 12 months, namely in the form of increasing cost pressures from inflation and sterling volatility. However, there are also a number of opportunities, and those retailers that embrace digital technology, and focus on improving customer experience across all channels will be well-positioned to thrive in 2017.”
Notes to editors
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The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.
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