19 Apr 2018
The weather was yet again a feature of this morning’s retail sales for March 2018, as the Beast from the East ate into the figures – but there could be some brighter skies on the horizon.
The key findings from the Retail Statistics showed:
Phil Mullis, Partner and Head of Retail and Wholesale at top-20 UK accountancy firm, Wilkins Kennedy, said: “The retail sales were far from spring-like but at least it looks like it had a good impact on online sales as people preferred (or rather had) to shop from the warmth of their own home. Retailers with strong online presence should have seen some real benefit.
“We also had Mother’s Day and the Easter Holiday during March, which could explain the small growth in department stores sales, particularly online – but the rest of the retail sales remained flat.
“There could be some brighter skies on the horizon. Inflation dropped to 2.5% in March whilst wage growth reached 2.8% at the end of February - the first time wages have exceeded inflation in a while. Hopefully this could mean April retail sales show some growth, as people have more disposable income and there may also be some deferred spending from March to factor in.”