Cautious optimism for retail sales ahead of Christmas

Written by Lyanne Earls. Posted in Blog, FootFall Index, News

This month, the UK National Index for September shows a decline of 3.3% year on year and a smaller decline of 0.7% against August 2013.   As is usual for the time of year, footfall declined in the early part of the month, reflective of the start of the school year.

Across the regions we have seen a decline in all indices when compared against September 2012 results. However, five regions out of 11 improved month on month.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG Retail Sales Monitor for September reported cautious growth ahead of Christmas.  UK retail sales were up 0.7% on a like-for-like basis from September 2012, when they had increased 1.5% on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 2.4%, against a 3.4% increase in September 2012 and in line with the 12-month moving average.

This month, the Retail Park Index presented mixed results, the early part of the month being the stronger period and showing growth in both the week on week and year on year comparisons. This is perhaps reflective of the more seasonal, cooler weather experienced at the start of the month.  By mid-September, we saw footfall begin to decline year on year and week on week when warmer, sunnier weather returned and many consumers made the most of what could be the last ‘good’ weekend.  Stability towards the end of the month sets a good base upon which we expect to see further growth. As October progresses, festive buying begins and customers place orders on large furniture items to receive them before Christmas.

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