Retail sales bounce back in February
5 March, 2013
Retail sales grew 2.7% in February, the fastest rate in more than three years, latest stats from the British Retail Consortium show.
The report of 2.7% like-for-like growth is a welcome bit of news for the beleaguered high street—which as Peach Report reported earlier this week has seen a wave of closures in recent years.
The BRC’s measure of growth is the most substantial since 2009, and follows demand for electrical goods in particular. Food sales also edged up, by 1%. On a total basis, including new openings, retail-wide sales rose 4.4% in February.
Director general Helen Dickinson said: “After the disappointing figures that brought 2012 to a close, it's reassuring that the sales momentum established during an encouraging January has built not faded. There are certainly highly welcome signs here of gradual improvement and customers feeling a bit more positive. February saw growth across all parts of retailing, with big-ticket goods and items for the home recovering particularly well, possibly reflecting better conditions in the housing market. But it's too soon to assume this represents the permanent turnaround we need.”
Restaurant and pub operators will also have been hoping for revived sales in February. The up-to-date picture of the climate for operators will be revealed in the February results of the Coffer Peach Business Tracker, out soon.