26th January 2015

Retail Sales Performance Is Encouraging, but Significant Challenges Remain, Warns KPMG

David McCorquodale, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, comments on the latest retail sales figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS):

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Retail Sales Performance Is Encouraging, but Significant Challenges Remain, Warns KPMG

“Most retailers were encouraged by their sales performance over the festive period, despite a pre-Christmas lull following Black Friday, as consumers waited to bag a Boxing Day bargain in the sales.”

“Online purchases remained strong and showed an increase in year on year sales in December. The clothing and household appliances sectors performed strongly, with small beauty electrical items and the latest gadgets topping many Christmas lists. However, with parcel backlogs caused by Black Friday, and the threat of courier companies not being able to deliver in time for Christmas, many consumers chose to click and collect or shop in store which provided a boost for the high street.”

“Grocers were heartened to see the volume of food sales increase slightly, with seasonal delicacies hitting the shelves and an abundance of multi buy offers tempting the consumer to splurge on festive food. Given the intense competition present in the food sector, this uptick in volume didn’t flow through to value but most will feel their festive campaigns hit the mark.”

“While retail sales for December do give cause for cautious optimism, retailers need to remember that upcoming changes in the political/ economic sphere could have a significant impact on the consumers appetite to spend.”

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