ONS says UK retail sales moved up in April, fashion did well
Official retail sales figures for the UK in April were released on Friday and they showed volumes ticking upwards again after they’d fallen during March.
The Office for National Statistics said retail sales volumes rose by a fairly healthy 1.4% in April 2022 month-on-month, following a fall of 1.2% in March, and sales volumes were also 4.1% above their pre-coronavirus February 2020 levels.
But compared to a year ago, sales volumes overall were down 4.9%, although values still rose as inflation meant consumers were forced to pay more, even if they were limiting the volume of goods that they bought.
Non-food stores sales volumes fell by 0.6% as some categories struggled during the month. Fortunately, fashion wasn’t among them.
Department stores and clothing stores both reported a monthly increase of 1.3% in sales volumes. Feedback from some retailers suggested that the pick-up in clothing was because of customers booking events such as weddings and holidays.
The ONS added that non-store retailing sales volumes, which are predominantly sales from online-only retailers, rose by 3.7% in April 2022 led by stronger clothing sales.
That was an encouraging development that also saw sales volumes 26.7% above their pre-coronavirus March 2020 levels and 2.4% above the level for February 2020.
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