Warm February weather boosts retail sales

Unusually warm weather in February contributed to an uplift in retail sales, say market analysts. According to the latest sales figures from the Office for National Statistics, retail sales were up 0.4 per cent by value and 0.6 per cent by volume when compared to January. While on a year-on-year basis they rose 4.1 per cent by value and 3.8 per cent by volume. In the last three months, sales increased 3.9 per cent by value and 3.6 per cent by volume when compared to the same quarter in 2018.

“An unseasonably warm February brought consumers out of hibernation, contributing to an unexpected rise in retail sales at the start of the year,” comments Lee Lucas, principle at the Fashion Retail Academy. “Good weather and a fear of rising costs after Brexit will have undoubtedly helped this uplift in sales, but there’s more behind these figures than just the first blushes of spring. Retailers are increasingly honing their craft, luring customers to the high street with competitive pricing and blended shopping environments that marry the convenience of online shopping with the tangible experience of heading to a store.”