Department stores see 8th consecutive month of no sales growth
Written by Peter Walker
In the three months to May 2019, retail sales increased by 1.6 per cent when compared with the previous three months, with growth across all stores except department stores and household goods stores.
The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures revealed a fall of 0.9 per cent in the quantity bought in department stores in the three months to May – marking the eighth consecutive month of no positive growth in this sector.
Month-on-month, May saw sales decrease by 0.5 per cent, with a strong decline of 4.5 per cent in clothing sales.
The year-on-year growth rate in the average store price for clothing fell for the ninth consecutive month in May, but evidence from retailers suggested that the poor weather may have delayed the sales for summer ranges.
Online retailing accounted for 19.3 per cent of total retailing, with an overall growth of 8.2 per cent when compared with the same month a year earlier.
In contrast, online sales were flat in May for the amount spent, when compared with April.
Angus Burrell, general manager for omnichannel solutions at payments provider Valitor, said that the decline in retail sales comes as no surprise.
“You just need to look at Arcadia reaching rock bottom and Quiz being the latest retailer facing High Street woes to understand that no retailer is safe in our current climate,” he stated, adding: “Retailers are still failing to understand the needs of their customers and failing to offer them a unique shopping experience that has a distinct personality which will keep customers coming back for more.”