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Retail sales growth is driven by rising clothing and food prices

Sales in the retail sector can be notoriously volatile, affected by the exchange rate, interest rates and levels of unemployment, to name a few. More recently, the Brexit vote has had an impact on both the value of the pound and the cost of imports and the knock-on effect has been to push up retail sales.

Retail sales in September 2017

According to the British Retail Consortium, total sales in September 2017 were up more than 2% on the same period in 2016. The lion’s share of this growth was generated within the clothing and food categories and was driven by a weaker pound and increased import costs which pushed up retail prices.

Despite this growth, there still appears to be some nervousness among consumers, with the majority of purchases being basic items such as winter coats and essential foods while shoppers shied away from high ticket items such as furniture and electricals. The looming threat of an increase in interest rates, coupled with the continued uncertainty about the outcome of Brexit negotiations, is likely to continue to make consumers nervous about excessive spending. The last quarter of 2017, which ends in December, will give retailers the final picture of how total annual sales have fared.

September also saw a large growth in the proportion of non-food sales made online as more and more shoppers turn to the convenience of internet shopping.

How can stores support continued growth?

Of course, as well as factors beyond the control of retailers, there are also some which lay firmly at their own door that can help to drive growth in sales revenue. Promotions and loyalty schemes can help to attract customers and clever use of in store media can help to successfully convey these messages. Companies such as can advise on and supply the right in store media solution for your business.

The feel of the store and the emotional connection that it creates for customers is also important and lighting, music and scent can all be used to create the right mood to getting shoppers digging deep. They can also create a perception of your brand.

So, as we head towards one of the busiest times of the year for retailers, competition will continue to be strong to attract the largest share of the consumer’s purse.



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