Retail sales values were up 1.5% like-for-like this September from the previous year according to the British Retail Consortium, as customers “acclimatise to the new realities” of the economy and realise that “difficult has become the new norm".
September sales were up 3.4% on a total basis this year compared with a 2.5% rise in the same month last year and online sales growth was back on track from August, up 9.9%.
The BRC said the wintery weather helped to boost sales in clothing and footwear in a month which it said was “not outstanding” for books sales, even with the success of the Fifty Shades trilogy.
Stephen Robertson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, said: “After a poor summer for sales, this is a return to growth rates we’ve come to regard as relatively acceptable in these relentlessly tough times. The improvement has come from the weather and a change in the mindset of some customers… there are signs that people are acclimatising to the new realities. Difficult has become the new norm.”
Customers are still cautious but less fearful than they have been recently, Robertson said. “The squeeze on disposable incomes has eased for some and, along with lots of discounts, left them feeling it’s time to stop postponing spending. Retailers will be hoping this modest boost strengthens as Christmas approaches.”