Retail sales rose by value in April, but volumes fell across the board.


Total retail sales advanced 5.1% in April, against a decline of 0.3% in the same month last year, the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor showed.

On a like-for-like basis sales rose 5.2% over the month, compared with a fall of 1.7% the previous year.

Food sales increased 9.8% in total and 10% like-for-like on a three-month basis while sales of non-food lines were ahead 1.2% in total and 0.8% like-for-like.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “While retail sales grew in April, overall inflation meant volumes were down for both food and non-food as customers continued to adjust spending habits.

“Clothing sales underperformed as the poor weather left customers thinking twice before decking out their summer wardrobe. Meanwhile, a boost to overseas tourism over Easter helped jewellery, watches and cosmetics.

“Retailers hope sales will improve over the warmer summer months, especially as consumer confidence stabilises and inflation begins to ease. However, they continue to face huge cost pressures from a tight labour market, high energy prices and other rising input costs, with many retailers reporting lower profits this year as a result.

“Government needs to ensure that any additional regulatory cost burdens are kept to a minimum as these add to inflation.”