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The latest retail sales figures from the Office for National Statistics have been released shining a light on the current state of the UK retail sector.

In the three months leading up to September, retail sales increased by 1.2% with ‘other stores’ accounting for the strongest growth. This 3.9% was the largest overall contributor, driven by jewellery and watches.

However, on a month to month basis, retail sales fell by -0.8%, with food stores registering the largest decline in sales since October 2015 at -1.5%

Year on year, every sector registered positive growth in September 2018 except department stores.

Department stores also accounted for the marginal fall in month to month online sales as a proportion of all sales. While this only fell from 18% to 17.8%, this decrease was largely driven by a reduction of -9.6% by department stores.

However, both food and clothing stores registered very strong online growth as a percentage of all retail, up 5.8% and 18.2% respectively.

Online sales now account for 17.8% of all retail sales, having increased by 11% in the last year alone. 

CEO and Business Growth Expert at Yomdel, Andy Soloman says: “A slight resurgence from the high street has seen a very marginal decline in online sales as a proportion of all retail on a monthly basis, but it’s clear that e-commerce has continued to envelop the UK retail sector with an 11% increase when compared to this time last year.

We’re seeing this growth across the board in all retail categories and this really demonstrates the momentum that continues to build behind a changing consumer mentality and preference.

Of course, this growth is strongest across areas offering the greatest convenience and saving, with household goods seeing the largest year on year growth and textiles, clothing and footwear also performing very strongly.

The only areas to have seen a decline are the less conventional non-store retailing, non-food items, but most notably our department stores, with a huge monthly decline of -9.6%.

These statistics echo the situation we are currently seeing on high streets across the UK and those that fail to pivot with this changing landscape to offer a more streamlined, digitally integrated proposition, will no doubt continue to struggle.”

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