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British retail consortium

High street hopes ‘the Meghan effect’ will sprinkle stardust over brand Britain

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Brief letters How they got it right on 54BC and all that

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Palmer Harvey paid out £70m since 2008 despite ongoing losses

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The Christmas jumper is out. Time for the Christmas suit!

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Co-op and Iceland back bottle deposit scheme to reduce plastic pollution

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Just Eat £5.5bn valuation: online takeaway company now worth more than M S

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Online Retail Sales Slip for First Time in Months – WWD, online retail sales.#Online #retail


Online Retail Sales Slip for First Time in Months

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Shutterstock / Solis Images

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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Give a trendy gift this year. Here’s what’s on these Instagram stars’ wish lists 9 Hours Ago

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UK retail sales pick up slightly while analysts warn of consumer sector stress over Brexit


UK retail sales pick up slightly while analysts warn of consumer sector stress over Brexit and inflation

The latest British Retail Consortium-KPMG Sales Monitor shows retail sales rose 1.3 per cent on a like-for-like basis on the same month a year earlier

  • Ben Chu Economics Editor
  • @Benchu_
  • Monday 4 September 2017 23:21 BST

The Independent Online

British retail consortium

Food sales were down 0.5 per cent year-on-year in the three months to August Getty

Retail sales picked up slightly in August, but analysts warned that the consumer sector’s stress was far from over given Brexit and rising inflation.

The latest British Retail Consortium-KPMG Sales Monitor shows that the value of retail sales rose 1.3 per cent on a like-for-like basis on the same month a year earlier.

On a total basis, sales were up 2.4 per cent.

Read more

This was the strongest growth seen since Easter.

However, over the three months to August, the slowdown trend seen this year was still clear.

All sales were down 0.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis on the same period a year earlier, with food sales down 0.5 per cent.

Non-food sales were up just 0.2 per cent and food sales by 0.9 per cent.

“Stark challenges lurk around the corner for the retail industry. Purchasing decisions are very much dictated by a shrinking pool of discretionary consumer spend, with the amount of money in people’s pockets set to be dented by inflation and statutory rises in employee pension contributions in a few months’ time,” said Helen Dickinson, the chief executive of the BRC.

“Retailers have managed to achieve stronger than expected growth, however adding to this could be the fact that consumers appear to be turning a blind eye to the potential crush on spending power to come. The industry now needs to overcome further devaluation of the pound and the increased costs therein,” said Don Williams, retail partner of KPMG.

The Office for National Statistics reported that retail sales volumes – adjusted for inflation – were up just 0.3 per cent in July, with the annual rate dropping sharply from 1.3 per cent from 2.8 per cent previously.

Inflation in July was 2.6 per cent, unchanged from the previous month, but up from just 0.5 per cent at the time of the 2016 Brexit vote.

Many analysts expect inflation to hit 2.9 per cent later this year.

Retail sales account for around 30 per cent of household spending, which in turn accounts for around 60 per cent of UK GDP.

Consumer spending was responsible for the surprisingly strong GDP growth in the wake of last year’s referendum, and the slowdown since the turn of the year is largely responsible for the weakening of the economy in 2017.