18 Oct 2018
It was a so-so September for retail sales as end of summer sales saw people spending – but only in some sectors.
The key findings from the statistics showed:
Phil Mullis, Partner and Head of Retail and Wholesale at leading accountancy firm, Wilkins Kennedy, said: “The summer sales were in full swing and it did entice people into shopping a bit more.
“There has been some steady growth in retail sales since September 2017 and year on year growth remains steady. This is in spite of some of the challenges facing the retail sector, including falls in footfall combined with an anticipated business rate increase of £186m from April 2019. However, the stretched customer will welcome a fall in inflation from 2.7% in August to 2.4% in September, which may also delay a further rise in the Bank interest rate.
“There was strong growth in the watch and jewellery sector which saw an increase in quantity bought of 2% for the three months to September. The sector also reported that most of this growth came from high-end items – so perhaps this tells us people are feeling more comfortable and have a bit more disposable spend. It is questionable whether this will be sustainable but it does tell us that even short-term trends can help prop up sales figures. For example, more than £4million worth of mince pies were sold in September alone – it just goes to show us that if there is a need, people will buy!”
“Looking forward to October, it will be interesting to see how Halloween sales will creep into any retail growth.”