UK retail sales rebounded in April with a 4.2% like-for-like basis boosted by Easter, according to The BRC KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.
March like-for-likes dipped 1.7%, hampered by the late timing of Easter.
Total sales advanced 5.7%, against a fall of 0.6% in April last year. The three-month like-for-like average is 0.3%, with total sales up 1.9%.
Food like-for-like sales fell 2% on the three-month average and edged up 0.1% on a total basis. Non-food like-for-likes rose 2.2% on a 3.3% total basis. Furniture and flooring was the best performing category, reporting its highest growth since Easter 2006 and strong growth was also posted in children’s fashion.
KPMG head of retail David McCorquodale said: “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% 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.”
“Sales of furniture and flooring increased over the Easter break as consumers not only had the confidence to refresh their décor, but also to invest in big-ticket items. The food sector remained competitive with grocers slashing prices to attract customers. Price wars may be good news for the consumers but mean that grocers have to urgently rethink business models to maintain margins.”
Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 11.2% in April, compared with last year. In April, online sales represented 16.1% of total non-food sales, against 15.9% in April last year.
BRC director-general Helen Dickinson added: “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.”