UK like-for-like retail sales jumped 1.5% last month as shoppers splashed out on winter wardrobes.
September’s total sales rose 3.4%, according to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.
Clothing experienced its best growth since last Christmas over the month as knitwear and coats performed well as the cold weather set in. There was also some signs of revival in home and furniture.
BRC director-general Stephen Robertson said: “After a poor summer for sales, this is a return to growth rates we’ve come to regard as relatively acceptable in these relentlessly tough times. The improvement has come from the weather and a change in the mindset of some customers.
“Customers are still cautious but less fearful than they were. The squeeze on disposable incomes has eased for some and, along with lots of discounts, left them feeling it’s time to stop postponing spending. Retailers will be hoping this modest boost strengthens as Christmas approaches.”
KPMG head of retail David McCorquodale said September’s strong performance will give retailers “renewed heart” as they approach Christmas.
He said: “Retailers will now be hoping that the consumer finds some confidence for 2013 to drive sales for the next three months. If that doesn’t happen there’s a real risk that the retailers will be forced to discount their seasonal margins away.”
Online sales picked up from August’s record low as the Olympics and Paralympics came to an end. However, the 9.9% growth rate in September is weaker than last year’s trend.