Higher food and clothing prices drives retail sales growth – BBC News, online retail sales.#Online


Higher food and clothing prices drives retail sales growth

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    Higher prices for food and clothing prices driven up by the weak pound fuelled retail sales growth last month.

    British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG figures showed that like-for-like retail sales rose 1.9% in September

    That was far higher than the 0.4% increase for the same month last year. Total sales climbed 2.3%.

    Much of this growth was due to price rises filtering through, particularly in food and clothing, said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.

    “Retailers have worked hard to keep a lid on price rises following the depreciation of the pound, but with a potent mix of more expensive imports and increasing business costs from various government policies, something had to give at some point,” she said.

    “Spending is still being focused towards essential purchases; with consumers buying their winter coats and back to school items, but shying away from big ticket items such as furniture and delaying the renewal of key household electrical goods.”

    The survey showed that food sales rose by 2.5% on a like-for-like basis over the three months to September and 3.5% in total, while non-food sales rose by just 0.5%, or by 0.9% on a total basis.

    Non-food sales in stores slumped 2% last month, and slid by 1.5% in total in the three months to September.

    Yet online sales for non-food surged 10.7% in September – well above the three-month average of 10% – as shoppers responded well to online discounts.

    Paul Martin, KPMG UK’s head of retail, said: “With potential interest rate rises on the horizon, shaky consumer confidence and ever-increasing levels of household debt, uncertainty remains.

    “We’re now moving into the final quarter, which will ultimately define whether 2017 has been a good or bad year for retailers.”


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    Government needs to support the welfare of supply chain workers, says British Retail Consortium, The


    Government needs to support the welfare of supply chain workers, says British Retail Consortium

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    Tinned tomatoes on British supermarket shelves may contain tomatoes picked migrant workers facing labour abuses Thomas Martinsen / Unsplash

    The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has urged the Government to do more to ensure the welfare of supply chain workers, following reports earlier this week of labour abuses at factories that supply British supermarkets.

    Earlier this week, The Guardian reported incidents of labour abuse in the supply chains of two Italian food giants – Mutti and Conserve Italia – which supply major British supermarkets with tinned tomatoes and passata.

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    Online retail sales

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    After a brief reprieve, retail sales slipped in August, surprisingly led by declines in online sales. Seasonally adjusted sales for apparel and accessories retailers fell 1 percent in August to $21.62 billion, compared to July, when month-over-month sales increased 0.5 percent to $21.83 billion. But compared with a year ago, sales in the sector were up 0.5 percent, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Department store sales fell 0.1 percent to $12.65 billion during the month, after rising 0.9 percent and hitting $21.83 billion in July. The performance in August was better than a year ago, when department store sales were down 0.8 percent. Breaking from the growth trend of recent years, sales at non-store retailers, a category that includes web sites and mail order houses, also fell in August, by 1.1 percent to $51.71 billion. In July non-store sales rose 1.8 percent to $52.28 billion and in August 2016, sales grew 8.4 percent. Sales at non-store retailers are still growing much faster than those for apparel retailers. Since last August, non-store sales are up 10.5 percent while sales for specialty and department stores are down 2.8 percent combined. Overall retail sales fell by 0.2 percent to $489.85 billion in August after a 0.3 percent increase in July, but year-over-year sales are up 3.2 percent. Charlie O’Shea, lead retail analyst at Moody’s Investor Service, said the August numbers show “a mixed bag, with the month-over-month drop indicative of a still-choppy environment for the U.S. consumer.” As for whether Hurricanes Harvey and Irma that have battered the southwest and southeast in recent weeks affected the monthly sales numbers, the Census Bureau said it doesn’t break out numbers by geographic location and that its data collection was generally uninterrupted. “While a few individual firms reported large increases or decreases in their sales because of the effects of the hurricane, this additional variation was not large enough to substantially affect the reliability of the published estimates,” the bureau said. James Bohnaker, associate director of economic research firm IHS Markit, said in a note that the August numbers no doubt showed “the early effects” of Harvey, but he expects “to see some payback once hurricane effects dissipate.” “The bigger story is that consumer spending looks to have been subdued even earlier in the summer,” Bohnaker said. “Retail sales initially appeared to be gaining momentum in June and July, but downward revisions make it very unlikely that consumer spending will come close to the 3.3 percent growth rate achieved in the second quarter.” The National Retail Federation earlier this month cut its expectations for annual retail sales, estimating they now will grow by no more than 3.8 percent after initially forecasting a maximum increase of 4.2 percent. For More, See:Fashion Faces a Still-Uncertain Second HalfNRF Says Retail Is Not DyingDavid Simon Blames Expensive Online ‘Chase’ for Retail Woes

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