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UK's retail sales soar 5.1% in March 2023: BRC

12 Apr '23
3 min read
Pic: bellena / Shutterstock.com
Pic: bellena / Shutterstock.com

Insights

  • UK retail sales for March 2023 rose 5.1 per cent compared to the same period last year, exceeding the 3-month and 12-month average growth, according to the BRC.
  • Like-for-like retail sales also grew 4.9 per cent YoY.
  • However, online non-food sales saw a decline of 2.1 per cent in March 2023, although this was above the 3-month and 12-month average declines.
UK retail sales rose by 5.1 per cent in March 2023, compared to the same period last year, according to data by the British Retail Consortium. This figure surpasses the 3-month average growth of 4.8 per cent and the 12-month average growth of 2.6 per cent. The like-for-like retail sales also saw a significant increase of 4.9 per cent in March, compared to a decline of 0.4 per cent in March 2022. This was also above the 3-month average growth of 4.6 per cent and the 12-month average growth of 2.1 per cent.

Non-food sales increased by 1.8 per cent on a total basis and 1.4 per cent on a like-for-like basis over the three months to March 2023, which is higher than the 12-month total average decline of 0.1 per cent. For the month of March, non-food sales were in growth year-on-year (YoY).

Furthermore, instore non-food sales increased by 5.2 per cent on a total basis and 4.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis since March 2022, which is higher than the 12-month average growth of 3.7 per cent. However, online non-food sales decreased by 2.1 per cent in March 2023, compared to a decline of 29 per cent in March 2022. This figure was higher than the 3-month average decline of 3 per cent and the 12-month decline of 5.2 per cent, as per BRC.

The report also noted that the proportion of non-food items bought online, known as the penetration rate, decreased to 38.4 per cent in March 2023 from 40.7 per cent in March 2022.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive, British Retail Consortium, said: “While the wettest March in over forty years dampened sales growth for fashion products, Mother’s Day brightened up sales for the month.

“With consumer confidence edging up and big events on the horizon such as the King’s Coronation, retailers have reason for a spring in their step. However, extensive cost pressures on business remain, and government must ensure it minimises incoming regulatory burdens. Unless these future costs are brought to a heel, we will likely see high inflation continue for UK consumers who already face rising household bills from this month.”

Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “Many retailers hoping for a Mother’s Day boost will have been disappointed with overall sales growth of just 5 per cent in March, against a backdrop of rising inflation running at more than 10 per cent.

“High street retailers saw some limited growth across most categories in March. Online retailers also benefited from the boost in sales of home items but saw continued decline in sales across most other categories, particularly clothing.”

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DP)

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