UK retail sales down 1.9 per cent

The latest figures released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) reveal UK retail sales are down 1.9 per cent from March 2010.

UK retail sales down 1.9 per cent - image: HW
UK retail sales down 1.9 per cent - image: HW

Non-food sales were the worst hit, as consumers continue to face uncertainty about their jobs and incomes.

Information revealed on the DIY/Gardening sector showed sales of pot plants and cut flowers performing well due to Mothering Sunday, and the warmer weather helping the sale of garden care products, plants and outdoor supplies.

British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson said:  "This is the worst drop in total sales since we first collected these figures in 1995.

"This is strong evidence of the pressure customers and traders are under – this year’s later Easter is a factor but this fall goes beyond anything that can be explained by that alone."

He attributed the drop to high inflation, low wage growth, mounting fuel and utility costs, falling house prices, higher VAT and tax rises.

"These pressures aren’t going away and the arrival of higher National Insurance is likely to compound them in the immediate future," he added.

KPMG head of retail Helen Dickinson said:  "The food sector suffered in the month due to Easter purchasing falling into March last year, thus impacting the overall results.

"However, beyond this the trend continues in a marked downward direction, and non-food continues to struggle, with big-ticket and home-related sectors again being the hardest hit."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Garden centre building: what's going up?

Garden centre building: what's going up?

After a lull in new builds, 2018 could see a slight resurgence in garden centres being erected.

Retail seed: crowded market for 2018

Retail seed: crowded market for 2018

Thompson & Morgan is refocusing on the garden centre seed market, hoping to win back business from Mr Fothergill's, which has expanded during T&M's long sale process.

Climbing roses

Climbing roses

Walls, trellises, pergolas and even trees can all be brightened up by these beautiful blooms, writes Miranda Kimberley.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

Our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation
 

Read latest articles