The volume of sales at textile, clothing and footwear stores grew 2.1% in March

The volume of sales at textile, clothing and footwear stores grew 2.1% in March

UK retail sales continued to increase in what has been described as a "bumper" March, with total sales up in almost all categories, including apparel and footwear.

The volume of sales at textile, clothing and footwear stores increased 2.1% year-on-year in March, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In value terms, sales grew 2.6%. However, average store prices fell 0.7% for the category, totaling GBP800m (US$1.20bn).

Internet sales of textiles, clothing and footwear grew 8.6%, accounting for 11.3% of total sales made online.

Overall retail sales increased 4.2% in volume terms, compared to March 2014. This was the 24th consecutive month of growth, and the longest period of sustained year-on-year growth since May 2008 when there were 31 periods of growth. In value terms, sales climbed 0.7%.

On a month-by month basis, sales volumes fell 0.5%, while the amount spent edged down 0.3%.

David McCorquodale, UK head of retail at KPMG, described March as a "bumper month" for retailers.

"With the upcoming election it will be interesting to see the impact a new government will have on consumer confidence, and while it is encouraging that retailers are benefiting from economic recovery, they’ll need to continue to exercise some caution given the uncertainty ahead."