Customers remain cautious, despite retail sales riseMonday, 15 March 2010
Stephen Robertson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: "Despite appearances, these results are not that strong. "The growth is compared with very weak figures a year ago when February saw the worst of last winter's weather and this February's performance was helped by sales postponed from January – particularly sales of non-food items such as homewares and fashion. Consumer confidence is certainly up on this time last year but, with unemployment rising again, spending plans are falling. When the weather-related distortions are stripped away, it's clear customers are still cautious."
Helen Dickinson, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: "Another month of mixed performances. Slowing food inflation hindered growth in value terms, while the expected uplift on a weak snowbound February 2009 duly arrived and the first week of the month saw double digit growth in most non-food sectors. As the month progressed, clothing and footwear, led by men’s and children’s, as well as home accessories and textiles, continued to perform well, as they had done in January. However, other non-food sectors were not so fortunate, highlighting the difficulties in enticing discretionary spending given the political and economic uncertainties ahead. The consumer remains cautious and confidence fragile."
Image: Regent Street London