The value of retail sales excluding petrol in May were up 2.4% on the previous year but flat in volume terms.
The value of retail sales excluding petrol in May was up 2.4% on the previous year but flat in volume terms.
According to the ONS, the value of retail sales excluding petrol was down 1.8% in May compared with April, and down 1.6% in volume terms.
Richard Lowe, head of retail & wholesale at Barclays Corporate said:“April’s bounce displaced a lot of spending, particular on food and drink, which would have otherwise made its way into tills in May, had it not been for the Royal wedding, warmer weather and extra bank holiday the previous month.
“The retail landscape remains anaemic and shops are working extremely hard to encourage consumers to part with their cash– it‘s hard not to notice the number of High Street retailers which have started their summer sales early.”
Barry Knight, head of retail at Grant Thornton said: “On the surface these figures may appear as good news, but if you strip out the inflation rate of 3.8%, the value increase in real terms actually equates to 0%. The increase in the headline figure will have been largely down to internet sales rather than an actual increase in footfall. As such, the High Street will be under significantly more pressure than the figures suggest. Those retailers who have yet to get their physical outlet strategy right will be suffering particularly.
“It is also significant that petrol prices are now 30% higher than they were at this period last year at most big providers’ pumps. With the use of one tank per week, the increase means the consumer is £15 out of pocket compared to last year. This will no doubt hurt in the coming months and put further strain on an already troubled consumer purse.”