Favourable exchange rates have produced another strong month for jewellery and watch sales, according to new figures.
The latest British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG Retail Sales Monitor found jewellery and watches to be the best performing sector – out of 12 – as both like-for-like and total sales increased in the category.
Like-for-like in the UK increased by 1.7% in October compared with the same month last year, when they decreased by 0.2% on 2014. On a total basis, sales rose 2.4% compared with a 0.9% increase in October 2015.
This is the strongest growth recorded since January, and ahead of the three-month and 12-month averages of 1.1%.
Over the three months to October, non-food retail sales in the UK rose 0.6% on a like-for-like basis and 0.8% on a total basis – representing a pick-up from September but still below the 12-month total average growth of 1.4%.
Meanwhile, over the three-months to October, online sales grew 11.1% compared with the same period a year earlier, when they had increased 9.2%.
Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, said: “It’s been a ‘spooktacular’ month for retailers this October, with total sales up 2.4% in the month – continuing the ongoing theme of UK shoppers being undeterred by the prospect of Brexit.
“It was jewellery and watch sales that seemingly continue to go from strength to strength, suggesting that international shoppers are continuing to clock-in [sic] on favourable exchange rates before potential price hikes next year.”