UK retail market experiences a rise in sales

Press Release   •   Feb 05, 2013 16:45 GMT

The number of UK retail sales grew last month, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Retailers weathered the snowstorms that swept Britain after sales were boosted by shoppers tempted out with New Year offers and promotions.

The industry body said like-for-like retail sales in January were up 1.9% compared with the same time last year. That is the largest year-on-year rise since December 2011.

It said sales were boosted by the popularity of televisions, tablet computers and smartphones.

But demand for cold weather gear including knitwear hats and scarves failed to prevent the overall clothing sector posting its worst performance for 14 months, as sales of spring and summer collections suffered and shoppers turned to supermarket ranges.

The surge in online sales growth over Christmas slowed to 10% last month, with the benefits of shopping from home in the snow outweighed by concerns about collecting in-store.

This news will boost hopes that the UK can avoid a triple-dip recession, after gross domestic product figures showed the economy contracted in the final three months of last year.

Signs that sales held up in January will be a relief to the retail sector after a troubled few weeks with the collapse of high-profile chains HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster.

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