Jewellers made the best out of Valentine’s Day, as the category achieved a top three position in the growth rankings table, the BRC reports.
Online sales of Non-Food products in the UK grew 10.7% in February versus a year earlier, when they had risen by 8.3% over the previous year.
However, after January’s acceleration, February’s slowdown puts the three-month average growth in line with the 12 month average at 1.8%. UK retail sales rose by 0.1% on a like-for-like basis from February 2015, when they had increased 0.2% from the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 1.1%, against a 1.7% rise in February 2015.
Chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson OBE said: “After a strong start to the year, February’s growth slowed to 1.1 per cent and 0.1 per cent on a like-for-like basis. This fell below the three-month and the 12-month total averages, both in line at 1.8 per cent.
“February’s slowdown was noticeable across all product categories. This slow growth reflects the increasing pressure the industry is under, as highlighted in our recent Retail 2020 report. With the Budget due this month, we encourage the Government to address the cumulative burden that retailers face; enabling growth and protecting jobs and communities.”
UK head of retail at KPMG, David McCorquodale said: “The home and the heart drove February’s sales growth as home improvement and Valentine’s Day campaigns brought their rewards. Jewellers saw sales sparkle on a romantic revival.
“With the implementation of the National Living Wage only weeks away, all the focus is on promotional activity to drive sales and on productivity to protect margins.”