Mother's day 'brightened up' March sales, finds BRC

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said that Mother’s Day “brightened up” sales in March.

In the five weeks to 1 April, the BRC found that total retail sales in the UK increased by over five per cent versus an increase of around three per cent in March 2022.

The figure put total retail sales above the three-month average growth of 4.8 per cent and the 12-month average growth of 2.6 per cent, the BRC said.

Food sales were found to have increased by 8.5 per cent on a total and like-for-like basis in the three months to March, while non-food sales in-store increased by 5.2 per cent on a total basis and put it above the 12-month growth average of 3.7 per cent.

In contrast to increased in-store sales, online non-food sales of the likes of fashion and DIY products were found to have decreased by 2.1 per cent in March.

The penetration rate of non-food items bought online also decreased to 38.4 per cent from 40.7 per cent in March 2022.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said that Mother’s Day gave stores an extra boost, as last-minute shoppers “dashed to their local High Streets and shopping centres” to purchase items such as jewellery, fragrances and flowers.

“With consumer confidence edging up and big events on the horizon such as the King’s Coronation, retailers have reason for a spring in their step,” she said. “However, extensive cost pressures on business remain, and government must ensure it minimises incoming regulatory burdens.”

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