The BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor is a monthly measure of the sector’s UK performance, based on data shared with the British Retail Consortium by its members. The index was initially set up by the BRC as a way for retailers to benchmark their performance against that of the wider industry, but it has evolved to become a vital measure not only of the health of British retail, but of the wider UK economy. Retail sales growth was hampered throughout most of 2020 and early 2021 by the coronavirus crisis, as government imposed lockdown measures prevented non-essential retailers from opening physical stores.
Retail sales grew in May at their strongest rate since the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK last March as the reopening of hospitality venues boosted footfall and spend.
Retail sales increased last month as shoppers flocked back to bricks-and-mortar stores following reopening on April 12.
Retail sales climbed in March, but many categories remained in decline as grocery powered the increase.
Retail sales returned to growth in February having shrunk in January but the BRC warned that many retailers were worried about getting through to the provisional April 12 reopening date.
Retail sales growth slowed in November as tighter government restrictions forced shoppers online.
Retail sales recorded a year-on-year uplift in October, which British Retail Consortium (BRC) boss Helen Dickinson says demonstrated many retailers “finding their footing” prior to the second lockdown.
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Retail sales improved in September as back-to-school and early Christmas shopping drove consumers to buy.
Retail sales showed positive signs of growth in August, but bricks-and-mortar stores continued to struggle compared with online.
Retail sales registered a second consecutive month of growth in July, which BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said was as “a step in the right direction”.
In June, retail sales registered the first increase since lockdown began with the highest rate of growth since May 2018, but BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson warned retail is not out of the woods yet.
After a record low in April, May sales figures showed little signs of improvement, registering the second-worst decline since records began in 1995.
Retail sales in April registered a record decline as comparatively subdued Easter grocery sales compounded non-essential shop shutdowns.
Retail sales went into a tailspin in March as the country entered lockdown in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Retail sales in February were hampered by three named storms during the month, according to the latest BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor.
It has been a festive trading period dubbed by the BRC as “the worst on record”. With this week bringing the departure of a retail boss from one business and a profit warning at another, it does have the markings of a bleak Christmas.
Total sales for 2019 were the “worst on record” as the retail sector limped to the end of the year when Black Friday distortions were taken into account.