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March 2019 UK Retail Sales: Small Retailers Drive Solid Total Growth; Food Retailers’ Online Sales Decline for the First Time in Eight Years

Executive Summary

Coresight Research’s monthly reports keep you up to date on US and UK retail sales, US retail traffic and in-store metrics, selected US retailers’ same-store sales and key global consumer indicators. Click here to view our full collection of Monthly Reports.

Our monthly UK Retail Sales Report reviews the latest sector data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Highlights from our March UK Retail Sales Report:

  • The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported a strengthening of retail growth to 4.4% year over year in March, supported by a 4.0% increase in volumes.
  • Growth was supported by a reported 8.9% increase in sales at small retailers; larger retailers, which include well-know chains and major online retailers, grew sales 3.2%.
  • A late Easter (Easter Sunday is April 21 versus April 1 last year) means some spending at grocery stores and DIY retailers shifted from March into April.
  • Department stores/mixed-goods retailers saw a third consecutive month of falling sales, dovetailing with the sales declines reported by John Lewis in March.
  • Online sales at food retailers registered their first year-over-year decline since 2011.

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