Footfall figures less gloomy

Footfall and Vacancies Monitor: BRC-Springboard

  • Footfall in February was only 0.5% lower than a year ago, an improvement on the 1.2% fall in January
  • This is above the three-month average of -0.8% and best overall footfall performance since May 2014
  • Footfall in out-of-town locations fared the best with a 1.0% increase year-on-year
  • Four regions and countries reported footfall lower than a year ago, with Wales and Greater London reporting the greatest declines

Dip in sales growth

Distributive Trades Survey: CBI

  • Retail sales were broadly flat in the year to February and orders placed upon suppliers fell
  • The survey of 138 firms including 62 retailers showed that both volume of retail sales and orders failed to meet expectations of growth in February, following six months of very buoyant sales
  • 30% of respondents reported that sales volumes were up on a year ago, while 29% said they were down, giving a balance of +1%, significantly below expectations (+42%) and the lowest since November 2013 (+1%)
  • The volume of orders placed upon suppliers fell (-7%), disappointing expectations of growth (+12%), but firms do anticipate a rise next month (+18%)
  • Volumes of sales for the time of year in February fell below seasonal norms (-5%), to the greatest extent since January 2014
  • Employment fell on a year ago (-21%), with a broadly similar fall in headcount expected next month (-19%)
  • Retailers still expect a moderate improvement in their business situation over the next three months.
  • The volume of internet sales rose (+47%) at a pace broadly in line with expectations (+49%)

Retail sales up – or down depending on how you look at it

Retail Sales, September 2014

  • The quantity bought in the retail industry in September 2014 was estimated to have decreased by 0.3% compared with August 2014. However, it increased by 2.7% compared with September 2013 making this the 18th consecutive month of year-on-year growth. This is the longest period of sustained year-on-year growth since May 2008, when there were 31 periods of growth.
  • The underlying pattern continues to show growth with the rolling three-month on three-month growth rate increasing by 0.3%.  However, this was the slowest growth seen in this measure throughout 2014.
  • In September 2014, the amount spent in the retail industry decreased by 0.6% compared with August 2014.  However, it increased by 1.3% compared with September 2013. Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in September 2014 was £6.9 billion compared with £6.8 billion in September 2013 and £6.9 billion in August 2014
  • The proportion of online sales were unchanged in September 2014 compared with August 2014 at 11.4%. Online sales increased by 10.1% compared with September 2013

First decline in spending in food stores in 25 years

Retail Sales, July 2014: ONS

  • In July 2014, the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 2.6% compared with July 2013 and by 0.1% compared with June 2014.
  • The three-month on previous three-month movement in the quantity bought showed continued growth for the seventeenth consecutive month increasing by 0.3%.  This was the longest period of sustained growth since November 2007.
  • Average prices of goods sold in July 2014 compared with July 2013 showed deflation of 0.9%. Food stores were the only sector to show an increase in prices (0.2%).  There has been declining growth in this series with July 2014 showing the lowest growth since December 2004, when it fell by 0.1%.  These data are consistent with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) which was published on 19 August 2014.
  • Since the food stores series began in January 1989, July 2014 was the first time we have seen a fall in the amount spent in food stores year-on-year (1.3%).
  • In July 2014, the amount spent in the retail industry increased by 1.7% compared with July 2013 and fell by 0.1% compared with June 2014.  Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in July 2014 was £7.0 billion compared with £6.9 billion in July 2013 and £7.0 billion in June 2014.
  • The amount spent online increased by 11.2% in July 2014 compared with July 2013 but decreased by 1.9% compared with June 2014.