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Retailers experience sales rise over February

Retailers experience sales rise over February

Retailers across the UK have started 2013 with a surprising strong performance over the past month.

New figures from the British Retail Consortium's (BRC) retail sales monitor, in conjunction with KPMG, revealed that there had been a 2.7 per cent increase on a like-for-like basis when compared against February 2012.

It marked the strongest sales growth in the sector for over three years and provides some welcome respite for companies across the country following tough trading conditions. In terms of total sales, levels had risen by 4.4 per cent which was an improvement on the 2.3 per cent increase during the same period last year.

Officials stated that these figures, excluding distortions caused by the early Easter, still improved at their fastest rate since February 2010 when there was a 4.5 per cent rise. Like-for-like sales had also grown at a rate not seen since December 2009.

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said: "Against all expectations, retail sales rose this month to achieve the strongest underlying sales growth for three years.

"Relatively dry, if cold, weather and the occasional day of spring sunshine helped to lift clothing sales as well as drive footfall in the general direction of the department stores, with non-food and furnishing and flooring categories showing strong performances."

This surge in sales performance has come in light of the horsemeat scandal which has cast doubts over the way that retailers source their goods such as beef products. A number of suppliers in countries like France and Ireland were highlighted as being the root of the problem and it came to public attention when a Findus beef lasagne was discovered to contain up to 100 per cent horsemeat.

It has also been a tough start to the year for many retailers with the likes of HMV and Jessops hitting financial trouble with the prevalence of internet shopping being blamed for the decline of the high street over the first few months of 2013.


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