Retail sales in the UK neither grew or declined in March as an early Easter distorted sales figures during the month.
That’s according to the latest Retail Sales Monitor from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG, which found like-for-like sales declined 0.7% compared with the same month last year while total sales were flat at 0%.
Despite flat sales, the report did point out that the ‘Mother’s Day effect’ boosted sales of jewellery and watches. The jewellery and watches category was ranked third for total sales, behind household appliances and furniture which was ranked top.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the BRC, said: “Neither growth nor decline in total year-on-year sales in March, although this relatively disappointing picture is distorted by the earlier timing of Easter this year.
“However, it was a bit of a mixed picture across the industry as a whole with big ticket items continuing to do well and furniture being the main contributor of total sales growth.”
Meanwhile, online sales remained strong as sales of non-food items grew by 9.5% in March compared with the previous year. The non-food online penetration rate remained above 20% at 20.5%.