- Total sales rose 1.3% in September
- Like-for-like sales were up 0.4%
- Food sales rose 1.6% on a three-month basis
Retail sales growth in September hit its highest level this year, and food delivered its best quarter in nearly three years.
On a like-for-like basis retail sales rose 0.4% in the five weeks to October 1, while total sales reached their highest level in 2016 excluding Easter distortions, up 1.3%.
According to the BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor, last month’s total sales rise follows a 3.9% increase during the same period last year.
However, the 12-month sales average recorded its slowest rise since records began in 1995, up 0.9%.
Sales growth in September was bolstered by rising food sales, which were up 1.6% on a three-month basis, the category’s biggest sales increase since November 2013.
IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch said: “In encouraging news for food and grocery companies, the growth seen through the summer months continued into September.
’Reason to feel optimistic’
“Although the sales growth remains modest, grocery retailers and manufacturers have reason to feel optimistic as Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas come on to the horizon.”
Non-food retail also had a stronger month in September, up 0.5%, although womenswear fashion sales continued to suffer due to unseasonably warm weather.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Sales growth of non-food items remained sluggish. Despite a flurry of back- to-school purchases, clothing sales in particular had a more challenging month.”
KPMG’s head of retail Paul Martin added: ”The shoe was truly on the right foot for children’s footwear, with the category leading the way in the month.
“No doubt timely in-store promotions helped to capture the attention of shoppers, while the August bank holiday that fell into this month’s figures also helped to boost sales.”