Press releases

Deloitte comments on today's ONS retail sales figures

20 July 2017

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

“June’s retail sales values and volumes showed comparatively strong month-on-month and year-on-year numbers, particularly considering the general mood amongst retailers and what is happening in the consumer market. June’s retail numbers gave a timely boost to the second quarter, which means that the retail industry has ended the first half of the year flat, as opposed to down.

“The good weather has clearly boosted footfall on the high streets as well as clothing sales, which coincided with stores being full of summer lines. Consumers appear to have taken the ‘Glastonbury feel-good factor’ to the high streets.

“While June’s numbers may appear strong, retailers will need to remain cautious. This week we saw inflation decline slightly to 2.6%, the first fall in the rate since October last year. While this may offer a glimmer of hope to consumers, many retailers will likely assume it is a blip, and will acknowledge that we have yet to reach the peak of inflation.

“There is evidence to suggest that consumer confidence has already been dented by cost pressures, having recorded its biggest quarterly decline in more than two years in Q2. The current climate may encourage retailers to rethink how they look to attract and retain customers. Consumers will be more likely to value brands that offer innovative, personalised customer engagement. For this reason, some elements of retailing, such as tired, generic points-based loyalty schemes, may need a rethink in order to evolve with changing expectations.”

End

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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