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British High Street sales recover in holiday season:CBI

Published 20 December 2013

Retail sales have staged positive comeback in the UK, after a slump of two months, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) latest Distributive Trades Survey of 106 firms.


According to the CBI's latest Distributive Trades Survey of 106 firms, grocers, department stores and clothing shops, there was a sharp decline in sales in the year to November.

December saw a strong rebound in sales, just before the start of the holiday season. Retailers further expect that the robust sales growth will continue in the year to January.

CBI's chair Barry William said, "After a disappointing couple of months, sales volumes in December recovered their sparkle, beating retailers' expectations.Retailers are now gearing up for the crucial pre-Christmas week and are optimistic for the New Year."

Many sub-sectors saw strong sales performance: grocers (+40%), non-specialised stores, including department stores (+36%) and clothing (+33%), having rebounded from negative balances in November (-20%, -28% and -15% respectively).

Over 36% placed more orders with suppliers, than they did a year ago, and 10% placed fewer orders, giving a rounded balance of +25%.

The sales of building materials (+48%), clothing, textiles & footwear (+30%) and durable household goods (+30%) grew, whereas the sale of food and drink (-59%) fell.

Agricultural and industrial machinery sales were flat (0%).

British retail sales volumes grew 1.8% on the year in October according to official data released last month.

Image: Retail Sales. Photo: Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.