Commenting on today’s ONS retail sales figures, Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte, said:
“April’s figures were flattered by the inclusion of Easter, therefore it should come as no surprise that the month-on-month sales figures for May are relatively flat. The real story lies in the strong year-on-year growth in retail sales. Lower inflation, positive employment numbers and a general improving economic outlook for the UK have all helped to lift overall consumer confidence.
“Pressure on the supply chains of clothing retailers has eased as a result of a stronger pound, whilst good weather has also provided a boost. Despite indicators showing store footfall dipping slightly in May, this has been offset by continued strong growth in online sales as consumers refresh their wardrobes ahead of the summer months.
“Food retailers continue to struggle. Recent falling price inflation figures may be good for the consumer, but are a reflection of the pain facing the grocers. However, June marks the start of a busy summer of sport and a combination of the FIFA World Cup, Wimbledon, cricket Test Matches and Commonwealth Games may prove to be just the ticket in raising the spirits of under-pressure grocers.”