Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Catalogue and online sales boost April retail figures

Published: 18 May 2007
Non-store retailers who include internet retailers, and other non-food stores saw a rise of 3.3% - the highest growth since march 2004, official figures show.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said high-street retail sales for April, on a seasonally adjusted basis by volume, fell by 0.1% month-on-month, but were up 4.2% year-on-year.

The ONS added that a 3% drop in household goods sales led to the fall.

However, shoppers ventured online or searched catalogues, generating sales growth of 2.5%.

Many reports have suggested an underlying robustness to consumer spending, but the British Retail Consortium (BRC) was rather more cautious saying that recent interest rate rises are starting to bite.

Director general Kevin Hawkins said: "While underlying sales growth remains good, strong price-inflation mustn't blind us to the fact that consumer spending is actually slowing.

"The BRC/Nielsen Shop Price Index shows non-food prices continuing to fall especially in electrical and clothing.

"Sales volumes are actually falling month-on-month with little room for non-food retailers to put up prices.




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