UK Contractors: Retail sector growth points to healthy economy
Limited company contractors trading within the retail sector will be pleased to hear that UK retail sales have risen significantly over the last 12 months.
Research from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) /KPMG, has shown that UK retail sales were up 4.2% on a like-for-like basis from April 2013, when they had decreased 2.2% on the previous year. On a total basis, sales were up 5.7%, against a 0.6% fall in April 2013. Growth was positively distorted by the timing of Easter.
Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, commented on the findings, “Retail sales growth for the twelve months to April showed a healthy increase of 2.8 per cent compared to the twelve months to April 2013. There are now clear signs that the retail economy is expanding as retailers offer great new products and competitive prices to consumers who are still watching their spending very closely.
“As anticipated, the Easter break introduced a positive distortion into the April 2014 comparable figures (as the holiday fell in March in 2013) and so April sales were up by 5.7 per cent. However what we can say for certain, is that customers responded well to great deals and good ranges in children’s clothes, DIY products and furniture, although volumes of food sales did not rise significantly. As the Online Retail Sales Monitor shows, customers took advantage of the holidays to visit and buy their products in stores, which is a useful reminder that people still very much enjoy the great experience of shopping in store as well as online.”
David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, added, “Strong April sales figures may have benefitted from Easter falling late this year but it is clear that the effects of the wider economic recovery are feeding through to the retail sector, as evidenced by the 3.3 per cent rise in non-food sales in the last quarter. The clothing and footwear segments performed well over the Spring months, benefitting from milder weather than last year.
“The food sector remained competitive with grocers slashing prices to attract customers. The last three months’ figures, which eliminate the distortion of Easter’s timing, reveal that total food sales have been flat at best. Price wars may be good news for the consumers but mean that grocers have to urgently re-think business models to maintain margins.
“After splashing out at Easter shoppers may be more restrained in the forthcoming months as they keep a keen eye on cash. However, if we have fine weather and the good economic news keeps coming, this should give retailers the momentum they need to drive sales of summer stock.”
How much could you be earning as a contractor? Type in your daily or hourly rate into our contractor calculator and see how much you could be taking home.
If you wish to appoint SJD as your accountants, simply complete our online Client Agreement Form or speak to a member of our New business team who can complete the client agreement form on your behalf. Call 01442 275789 or email email@example.com.