UK Retail Receives a Boost
The retail sector in the United Kingdom received a boost in October after it saw a 0.8% rise in sales over the previous month of September. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), these figures are up by 4.3% from the same month last year.
This was, most probably, brought about by the fact that average prices have fallen by around 1.5% over the year which is the largest decline in prices since December 2002. This, in itself, was brought on by the fall in petrol prices as petrol and diesel prices hit their lowest level since the end of 2010. Having hit a four year low at the end of the month, average petrol prices in November stood at 122.5p per litre for unleaded petrol.
Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at business services group Deloitte, said: “A stronger than expected month, albeit driven by discounting, will bring some cheer as we start the run-up to Christmas.”
There was growth in all sectors of retailing in October except non-store retailing which seemed to be, uncharacteristically, lagging behind. Mr Geddes said that online sales had “shown some loss of momentum,”, what with the proportion that online sales contributed to total sales falling by 0.1% in the month, but these should “pick up in November”.
November is expected to see a considered growth in these areas what with the US style shopping sprees of Black Friday and Cyber Monday expected to be record breaking and seeing many people trying to snap up bargains just before the Christmas period.
General grocery sales have also been marginally better over the October period but the market conditions are currently very tough with an intense price war happening between the bigger stores as slip ups from market leader Tesco has spurred others to compete for greater market share. Discounters such as Aldi and Lidl have also seen their market share increase as many who have been feeling the economic pinch as of late turn to cheaper goods in order to stock their cupboards.
As the UK’s economy moves forward retail is expected to pick up with domestic spending especially important at the moment as Britain tries to insulate itself from the slowdown of big trading partners such as China and the European Union. The Christmas period is also fast approaching and retail is expected to receive a boom from that.