Deloitte comments on latest ONS retail sales data
15 February 2013
Commenting on today’s ONS retail sales figures, Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte, said: “Today’s figures bring into sharp focus the unsettled picture for UK retailers. Despite a decent Christmas and tight stock management ensuring effective seasonal discounting, today’s figures are another blow for the high street. However, online and mobile channels have continued to see significant year-on-year growth.
“Perhaps more than ever before, January’s results demonstrate the importance of a sophisticated multi-channel strategy. Those with effective digital and mobile services have reaped the rewards, whilst those still coming to terms with the online revolution have struggled. This polarisation between retailers’ performances will be a key characteristic for the sector throughout 2013.
“Whilst inflation has stubbornly remained around 2.7% for the last couple of months, there is an expectation that wage increases will outstrip a rise in the cost of goods, providing shoppers with increased discretional spend. However, the consumer remains cautious. Deloitte’s latest Consumer Tracker revealed the net proportion of consumers who are pessimistic about job security, career progression, personal debt, general wellbeing and children’s education and welfare has increased in each case by 2% or 3% in the last three months of 2012 compared to the previous quarter.”
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