UK retail sales in March were 0.7% lower than in
February mainly due to bad weather, according to the Office for National
[pdf] also said retail sales volumes last month were down 0.5% compared with a
year earlier. However, in value terms, retail sales were 0.1% higher.
Non-food sales dipped 4% in March, their largest monthly decline in more than
However, the icy weather resulted in a rise in e-commerce with "non-store"
retailing seeing its biggest rise since March 2009.
"Feedback from department stores, clothing stores and household goods stores
suggested that sales were dampened by the weather, as they prepared their stores
for the spring season," the ONS said.
Peter Saville, partner at advisory and
restructuring firm Zolfo Cooper, commented: “The
results are disappointing, but unsurprising. The prolonged cold weather has
certainly taken its toll on the UK high street and has further discouraged
We are now well into 2013 and many retailers, who have invested heavily in their
online offerings and store experience, will be hoping their efforts will soon
pay off. A rise in consumer confidence would be welcomed by retailers keen to
turn around this stagnant trend.”
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