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Retail sales improve in January after a weak end to 2019

20 February 2020

Retail sales improve in January after a weak end to 2019

New findings from the Office for National Statistics show that, after falls in the previous two months, retail sales in January improved by 0.9%.

This indicates a rise in the number of goods sold in Great Britain, the largest rise since March and most certainly a stronger performance than economists predicted.

Internet sales were also 4.9% higher in January than what they were a year ago.

Aled Patchett, head of retail and consumer goods at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking explained the current situation and continued caution well: ‘’While the Boris-bounce appears to have boosted customer confidence and improved the mood among retailers, many are continuing to forecast with caution in mind, having endured a difficult Christmas – something that was reflected in the smaller-than-expected discounts in January.’’

These new, positive figures are of course not something for retailers to get too excited about but are just something to put the retail sector in a better light.

Sales for the three-months to end-January still fell by 0.8% as less goods were bought. The quarter saw a decline across all sectors. Clothing shops in particular saw a drop in the amount bought by 3.9%.

Research previously by the British Retail Consortium indicated that 2019 was the worst year in 25 years for retailers, since it saw the first annual sales decline since 1995.

The UKs high streets are facing tough trading conditions as seen by the likes of recent chains, Laura Ashley, Beales, Hawkins Bazaar and even GAME, facing administration fears in the recent months.  

It is thought that Brexit, weak consumer confidence and high business rates are among a few of the factors to blame.

Category: Retail

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