Retail figures 'a reason to be cheerful'

UK high street sales have risen by 1.9% like-for-like in January according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), with online sales growing by 10.1%.

The BRC released its January sales data this morning (5th February) which confirmed total sales were up by 3% compared to a rise of 2.1% in January 2012, and that like-for-like sales had risen by 1.9%, in comparison to a drop of 0.3% in the same month a year earlier. Online sales saw an increase of 10.1%, a slight decrease compared to the rise of 11.3% in the same month last year.

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: “January’s sales figures will give retailers reasons to be cheerful as like-for-like sales achieved the highest increase seen since December 2011. It’s a strong start to what is anticipated to be a tough year for the sector.”

He added: “While technology advances may have hastened the demise of HMV, Blockbuster and Jessops, many retailers will look back at the last two months with pride after implementing successful seasonal campaigns where they have served the customer well.

"Sales are only one side of the equation and time will soon reveal the true cost of the promotions and margin squeezes used to drive these sales. However, it is encouraging to see such positive results in what is traditionally a challenging month."