In the latest figures released by the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor (RSM), an accurate monthly measure of UK-wide retail sales performances, the total retail sales in the UK rose by 5.1% in April, marking a significant increase from a decline of 0.3% in April 2022.

This growth was consistent with the 3-month average of 5.1% and above the 12-month average of 3%. Like-for-like retail sales also increased by 5.2% in April, a stark improvement from a decline of 1.7% in April 2022, exceeding the 3-month average growth of 5% and the 12-month average growth of 2.7%.

Commenting on the results, Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the BRC said: “While retail sales grew in April, overall inflation meant volumes were down for both food and non-food as customers continued to adjust spending habits. Clothing sales underperformed as the poor weather left customers thinking twice before decking out their summer wardrobe. Meanwhile, a boost to overseas tourism over Easter helped jewellery, watches and cosmetics.

“Retailers hope sales will improve over the warmer summer months, especially as consumer confidence stabilises and inflation begins to ease. However, they continue to face huge cost pressures from a tight labour market, high energy prices, and other rising input costs, with many retailers reporting lower profits this year as a result. The government needs to ensure that any additional regulatory cost burdens are kept to a minimum as these add to inflation.”

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, added: “Retail sales held steady in April with 5% growth on last year, but against a background of higher inflation year-on-year, masking how much is actually healthy growth for the sector.

“It was a mixed bag for the high street, with sales of footwear, food and jewellery performing strongly whilst more categories slipped into negative territory as clothing and computing continued to witness declining sales. Online retailers continued to feel the pressure in April, with both sales growth and penetration rates falling as the market rebalances after the pandemic and consumers choose to bargain hunt in-store.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

“Consumer demand has so far been fairly resilient to the twin drags of high inflation and high-interest rates, but as government energy support comes to an end for many, savings start to dwindle and other household bills rise, it is likely that the next few months will continue to be challenging as the consumer tank empties. Many hinges on whether soaring food inflation can be brought under control enough to allow consumers to comfortably start spending again on non-essential items.

“Retailers will be hoping that the Coronation, coupled with a month full of bank holidays and inflation levels starting to head in the right direction, will boost consumer confidence significantly enough to start to see real, profitable growth.”

Retailers are hoping that the warmer summer months and stable consumer confidence will help to boost sales and mitigate inflationary pressures.

BRC CEO Helen Dickinson recently discussed the current state of the retail sector in the UK which has been hurt by soaring energy prices, higher input and commodity prices and the Russia and Ukraine war, all against the backdrop of the pandemic.