UK Retail Sales Report

Retail Economics reports a range of retail sales indices on a monthly basis. Subscribers have access to all data (analytical reports and interactive data) and category breakdowns including online retail sales, clothing and footwear, household goods, food, DIY and gardening, consumer electricals and more.

UK Retail Sales - January 2017

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The UK Retail Sales report includes:

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Summary and economic overview
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Sales growth by category (year-on-year)
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Online sales growth (year-on-year)
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Sales spend by region
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Total spend by sector
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Average weekly spend (£m)
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Footfall by channel
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Summary of external retail sales sources including Office for National Statistics, British Retail Consortium, CBI, BDO, John Lewis, Visa and more

Summary

Retail sales rose by 3.4 per cent in December according to the Retail Economics Retail Sales Index (value, non-seasonally adjusted and excluding fuel). This was the strongest annual growth since November 2014 when sales rose by 5.8 per cent. However, growth was up against soft comparisons last year when sales fell by 0.5 per cent. What’s more, the additional trading day (with New Year’s Day excluded in December 2016 trading period but included in December 2015) would have provided some marginal support.

Food was the standout winner with the grocers benefiting significantly from strong consumer momentum. Food sales rose by 3.9 per cent, year-on-year, and with deflation currently at 1.1 per cent according to the ONS, volumes rose by c.5.0 per cent.

Non-Food also performed strongly with sales rising 3.1 per cent in December, driven by strong performances across Health and Beauty (+5.7 per cent) and Homewares (+4.2 per cent) while Clothing (+1.8 per cent) and Footwear(+1.7 per cent) which produced some positive numbers despite soft market conditions. The poorest performing sectors were Furniture and Flooring (-2.6 per cent) and Electricals (0.2 per cent).

The success of Black Friday has had a material impact on the distribution of sales over the Christmas trading calendar. Notably, sales have been pulled into the November trading period to the detriment of December. Granted, this will impact some sectors, such as Electricals and Clothing and Footwear, to a much greater extent than Food. But for this reason, analysing average growth across November and December provides a more accurate underlying trend.