Lower inflation has helped lift overall consumer confidence

Lower inflation has helped lift overall consumer confidence

Good weather across the UK and an easing of pressure on supply chains helped drive an increase in clothing sales for retailers in May, leading to an increase in overall retail sales.

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), sales at textile, clothing and footwear stores were up 4.2% year-on-year in May.

In value terms, sales at textile, clothing and footwear stores also grew 4.2% in May, compared to the same period a year ago.

Average store prices for the sector, however, were down 0.1% and average weekly sales totalled GBP0.8bn.

Internet sales of textiles, clothing and footwear increased 17.6%, accounting for 11.3% of total sales made online.

Overall retail sales volumes increased 3.9% year-on-year. The amount spent grew 3.2% compared with May last year.

David McCorquodale, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, said: “World Cup fever has hit the high street and sales of sports clothing and equipment soared in the run up to the tournament, up a massive 28.9% year-on-year.

The feel good factor created by this momentous sporting event has undoubtedly delivered a real boost to the retail sector and should help to drive sales in June too, as people buy replica football shirts, food and drink to enjoy the games."

Meanwhile, Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte, noted: "Pressure on the supply chains of clothing retailers has eased as a result of a stronger pound, whilst good weather has also provided a boost.

"Despite indicators showing store footfall dipping slightly in May, this has been offset by continued strong growth in online sales as consumers refresh their wardrobes ahead of the summer months."

He added: "Lower inflation, positive employment numbers and a general improving economic outlook for the UK have all helped to lift overall consumer confidence."