August Sales show Olympic effort for retail

Retail got through the heats this summer as August Retail Sales released today revealed a year-on-year growth of 6.2% with the Olympics a welcome boost to trade.

A strong performance from the grocery sector recorded a 0.9% rise in sales on a three-month basis, resulting in above average food sales of 0.3%. This could be due to people celebrating Britain’s success at the Olympics and the prolonged summer weather with more outdoor entertaining.

The key findings from the Retail Statistics showed:

In August 2016, the quantity bought (volume) of retail sales is estimated to have increased by 6.2% compared with August 2015; all store types except textile, clothing and footwear, and household goods showed growth with the main contribution coming from food stores.

The underlying pattern in the retail sector is still one of growth with the 3 month on 3 month movement in the quantity bought increasing by 1.6%.

The amount spent (value) in the retail industry increased by 4.1% compared with August 2015 and decreased by 0.5% compared with July 2016.

The amount spent online increased by 18.5% compared with August 2015 and increased by 0.4% compared with July 2016.

Phil Mullis, Partner and Head of Retail and Wholesale at top-20 UK accountancy firm, Wilkins Kennedy LLP, commented: “Barbeque weather has been on the cards this summer and the Olympics could be a reason for bringing more people together for outdoor celebrations, which could have been one of the reasons for the increase in food sales.

“What is interesting is that the statistics do not take into account the August back holiday and a number of retailers could have been expecting a further bounce, both in the grocery sector and for back to school – so there could have been even further growth to report.

“Next is the golden quarter for retail as we run up to Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas, so it will be interesting to see the results that September has in store.”