A pent up demand for swimwear helped boost consumer spending in May following two months of flat sales.
After footwear, clothing was the second-best performing category last month, with dresses, shorts and swimwear all performing well, according to the latest BRC – KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.
Overall, retail sales grew 1.4%, in line with the 12-month average of 1.5%.
The growth has been attributed to warmer temperatures, which enticed shoppers to buy seasonal ranges at the beginning of the month.
Some retailers mentioned running some additional promotions compared to the equivalent period last year, which acted as further incentives to attract customer to their stores and websites. Others however, were satisfied with the growth and recouped some margin.
“Today’s figures bring better news for the UK’s retailers,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.
“Clothing made a big comeback this month after suffering declines in April. This appears to be due to consumers waiting for just the right moment before embarking on their pre-summer spending,” she added.
But with signs that the UK’s economy is slowing, Dickinson offered a word of caution.
“It’s unlikely that this is the beginning of a complete reversal of fortunes. The uncertain outlook means that customers will remain cautious with their spending. Therefore we expect sales figures to remain volatile for the time being,” she said.
“Shop price deflation continues and intensity of competition is fierce. Controlling costs and improving efficiency and productivity will be crucial for retailers as they continue to navigate increasingly tough trading conditions.”