Supermarkets experience rise in retail sales

Recent figures indicate that there was a notable rise in retail sales last month compared to March 2014, suggesting that the supermarkets are gradually making a comeback.
According to KPMG and the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the sales of like-for-like goods rose 3.2 per cent compared to March last year, and represents the strongest growth since January 2014.
However, whilst this growth is promising, it should be highlighted that Easter was earlier this year, and this would have led to shoppers stocking up in March before the holiday.
Although like-for-like food sales were down 0.4 per cent compared to March 2014, total food sales experienced their highest increase since July 2013, after a rise of 1.8 per cent.
David McCorquodale, of KPMG, said: “Price deflation continues to dog the sector, and while supermarkets may be selling more, they are pedalling hard to stand still. There is a long way to go before like-for-like food sales are back in positive territory,” although he acknowledged the grocery sector was showing signs of recovery.
This comes after continued growth so far this year, after there was a fall last December. Meanwhile, furniture and other household appliances was the second-largest contributor to the retail market’s growth, helped by an improvement in the housing market.
“Retailers can also be satisfied with the consumer response to their Mother’s Day and Easter offerings, but it is important to note that April figures will be impacted by the absence of Easter this year,” said Helen Dickinson of the BRC.