Retailers should not “celebrate” yet despite seeing the strongest April sales figures in three years, the British Retail Consortium has warned.
A sunny April, which this year included Easter, boosted retail sales by 4.6% compared to April last year when “sales were very weak in the cold wet weather after a March Easter”, the BRC reported this morning.
Both food and non-food sales were boosted, with clothing, footwear and outdoor leisure showing strong increases, although so-called big-ticket homewares and furniture sales “remained difficult,” meaning sales for Feb to April fell overall by 2.9%.
Food sales grew 5.3% over February to April compared to last year as grocery shopping habits remain steady despite the recession.
Joanne Dennery-Finch, chief executive of IGD which supplies the food data, says: “While many shoppers are delaying the purchase of big-ticket items, nearly three-quarters told IGD in a recent poll that they are ‘carrying on as normal’ with their grocery shopping – although of course they are seeking out the best deals and promotions, shopping around and scrutinising value.”