Retail sales up quarter-on-quarter: ONS
Written by Peter Walker
In the first quarter of the year, the quantity bought in retail sales increased by 1.6 per cent when compared with the final quarter of last year, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures.
All store types, except department stores and household goods stores, increased in the quantity bought in the three months to March, when compared with the previous three months.
Year-on-year growth in the quantity bought increased by 6.7 per cent in March, the highest since October 2016, with a range of stores noting that the milder weather this year helped boost sales in comparison with the “Beast from the East” impacting sales in March 2018.
Online sales as a proportion of all retailing increased to 18.6 per cent in March, from the 18.1 per cent reported in February.
Department stores were the only store type to decrease in the quantity bought when compared with last March, with a fall of 0.3 per cent in last month.
From June 2018, department stores diverged from the strong growth seen in total retail, with a continued slowdown to growth until September 2018.
In October 2018, both all retailing and department stores reported growth, but all retailing dropped to 2.2 per cent from the steady trend and department stores showed an increased growth from the slowdown, according to the ONS.
Following this period, both still reported growth until December 2018, but department stores took a downturn in January, down one per cent, compared to all retailing, which showed growth of four per cent.
Commenting on the statistics, Yomdel founder and chief executive Andy Soloman said that while the bricks and mortar space has enjoyed some positive growth, it's important it doesn’t rest on its laurels and continues to innovate and appeal to the ever-changing taste of the modern day consumer.
“The traditional department store is particularly in danger of losing relevance on the High Street as the only store type to see a decrease year on year.
“However, all in all with yesterday’s inflation numbers being so positive, almost full employment, low mortgage rates and wage growth buoyant, these inspiring retail sales numbers further contribute to what can only be described as a sound economic base.”