The key findings from the Retail Statistics showed:
· In August 2017, the quantity bought (volume) in the retail sales industry increased by 1.0% compared with July 2017; with other non-food stores and non-store retailing as the main contributors to growth.
· Compared with August 2016, the quantity bought increased by 2.4%; the 52nd consecutive month of year-on-year increase in retail sales.
· Year-on-year contribution of food stores remains flat whilst there was a fall in the contribution of growth within petrol stations, showing that contributions to the overall growth came from non-essential items.
· The underlying pattern in the retail industry is one of growth, three-months on three-months the quantity bought has increased by 1.2%.
· Store prices increased across all store types on the year, with non-food stores and non-store retailing recording their highest year-on-year price growth since March 1992, at 3.2% and 3.3% respectively.
Phil Mullis, Partner and Head of Retail and Wholesale at top-20 UK accountancy firm, Wilkins Kennedy, said: “There was a welcome boost to the retail sales figures for August, mostly supported by non-food stores and on-specialised stores – particularly textile, clothing and footwear.
“This category in particular is already experiencing growth as inflation starts to take effect. Rising prices in clothing stores will lead to an increase in amount spent, but not necessarily an increased volume, however, strong sales figures in August indicate that the Back to School season fared well.
“As we approach the Golden Quarter, we can expect to see a continued upward trend, as Halloween sales start to bite, November goes off with a bang and consumers go crackers for Christmas.”