Sector Growth Ahead Of Expectations
Retail sales in the UK rose by 3.5% in the year to July, according to The Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The figures which were ahead of expectations revealed strong online sales but highlighted that many consumers are staying away from some High Street stores.
The ONS also said that food sales boosted by the World Cup and added that clothing sales recorded their strongest year-on-year growth since December, also helped by sales promotions.
On the three-month measure for May to July, sales rose 2.1% - the strongest three months since February 2015.According to ONS, total online spending in July 2018 continued to increase to a new record proportion of all retailing at 18.2%.
Expert Opinion“The retail sector is a key driver for economic growth here in the UK and these latest statistics highlight the challenges being faced.
“Footfall data is showing a general decline but at the same time there is a significant increase in online shopping.
There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic, and retailers must constantly invest and innovate to remain relevant and adapt to the new consumer. Retailers, for example, need to embrace both experiential and omnichannel retail to encourage interactions with consumers. Providing quality unique experiences to consumers and ensuring online and offline presences are joined up will be vital to the future of many retailers in the coming years.”
Emma Yates - Senior Associate Solicitor
Irwin Mitchell recently published a special edition of its UK Powerhouse report which analysed the role that retail has in driving economic growth in the UK. The report highlights challenges that businesses are facing in the sector and includes a range of legal issues and solutions that should be considered at board level. The report can be downloaded here.