Continued fall in retail sales
Date published: 23 May 2012
Retail sales volumes fell by 2.3% in April compared to the previous month, and by 1.1% compared with April 2011, says the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This was largely due to a record fall in petrol sales. This was the largest fall in sales volume year-on-year growth since August 2011 when sales volumes fell by 1.2 per cent. The slowdown in sales values, and the contraction in sales volumes growth, were driven predominantly by food stores, automotive fuel stores and textile, clothing and footwear stores.
Danny Jatania, CEO of money saving champion and prepaid MasterCard® provider Pockit, comments: “There are a number of factors contributing to the downturn in figures. Faced with uncertain economic times and for many a drop in real incomes, consumers continue to be generally cautious. The wettest April on record put people off going out to shop and stopped them buying many of the seasonal purchases they would usually have made. Add to this the continuing rise in popularity of online shopping amongst consumers in the UK.
“In today’s discount culture consumers have become adept at shopping around and taking advantage of all incentives on offer. This means that retailers have to work that extra bit harder. As well as improving the customer experience in every possible way, they need to offer consumers the full spectrum of additional incentives. These include cashback obtainable instore, as well as coupons and vouchers they can download either online or to their mobile phones to use instore. Making use of all these will help drive consumer footfall back to the high street and to the stores. Retailers must engage with customers in any way they can to make their visit more enjoyable and to add extra value.”
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