Deloitte comments on latest ONS retail sales data
18 April 2013
Commenting on today’s ONS retail sales figures, Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte, said: “Today’s figures reflect a disappointing Easter performance. The industry hoped for a strong annual increase in sales, given the Easter break fell in March this year as opposed to April in 2012. In particular, the fashion sector suffered due to the prolonged winter weather. Spring/Summer collections were left out in the cold as consumers delayed seasonal purchases.
“Food retailers fared better as they capitalised on Mother’s Day and Easter celebrations. Those retailers with a strong online presence also reaped the rewards. Footfall fell as consumers opted to avoid the chill and shop from the comfort of their own home. Certainly, the weather highlighted the importance for retailers to have a nimble and responsive supply chain structure in place. The ability to adapt product offerings according to customer demand is crucial as unpredictable weather patterns become increasingly prevalent.
“Nevertheless, the outlook is beginning to look a little brighter for the retail industry. Spring has finally arrived, inflation remains stable and credit availability continues to improve, suggesting pressure on purse strings is starting to ease.”
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