April sees drop in retail sales

Friday, 26 April 2013
April sees drop in retail salesThe lastest figures from the CBI Index shows UK retail sales fell in April. This is the first drop in sales since October last year. The survey, which had 62 respondents from the retail sector, saw little support to sales growth from the Easter trading period: sales volumes were broadly unchanged in the year to April, the lowest balance since August 2012, continuing a steadily weakening trend in sales growth since November.

Thirty-sevenApril sees drop in retail sales percent of retailers surveyed said sales were down compared with a year earlier, while 36 percent said they had increased.

Fashion retailers saw biggest drop in sales

Clothing and footwear stores suffered the biggest drop in sales, while trade was better at supermarkets, furniture stores and online.

Sales volumes were well below average for the time of year, to a much greater extent than expected. The volume of orders also fell on a year ago, once again disappointing expectations of growth, while stock levels remained above their long-run average relative to expected demand.

Expectations for next month have dampened, with retailers expecting both sales volumes and orders to fall.

"Retailers were frustrated this month by the ongoing stagnation in sales growth,” said Barry Williams, chairman of the CBI distributives trade survey panel and Asda’s chief merchandising officer for food."

“This may be explained in part by the unseasonal weather we suffered, but there is no doubt that high street conditions are tricky with consumers lacking the confidence to go out and spend, as they still feel the pinch in their pocket."

Image: UK High Street