Swimwear helps boosts retail growth in February

Retail sales notched up growth in what is usually a quiet month in February, with swimwear performing particularly well, figures showed today.

UK retail sales increased by 0.2% on a like-for-like basis from February 2014, when they had decreased 1% due to bad weather, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Retail Sales Monitor with KPMG.

On a total basis, sales were up 1.7%, against a 0.7% rise in February 2014.

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BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: "After the bustle of Christmas and the excitement of the January sales, February is usually a quiet month for retailers. So it’s heartening to see that retail sales continued to rise this month by close to 2%.

"What’s interesting is that almost all categories of product saw increased sales – so the good news is shared out pretty evenly across the industry as a whole. There was some specific excitement around swimwear, sandals and other ‘holiday’ items as consumers turned their mind to their getaways.”

Despite the growth, David McCorquodale, at survey sponsor KPMG, said consumers were still not spending heavily in stores.

"It’s surprising more consumers aren’t treating themselves to a new pair of shoes, or curtains for the home," he said in a statement. "One suspects that restaurateurs, not retailers, are benefiting from the extra cash in consumers’ pockets resulting from fuel price savings."



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