Average sales growth by volume has slowed down according to the latest retail sales figures from the Office of National Statistics, but the household sector has been hardest hit.
Across all sectors, sales by volume rose by 1.5% in the three months February to April compared with 1.9% in the previous three months. And while non-food retail outperformed the food sector (with 1.7% and 1% growth respectively) sales in household goods stores were the exception to the rule and dropped 1.9% – the largest single fall in this sector since May 2005.
National Director of the retail and wholesale sectors at Barclays Commercial Bank Jeremy Rance said of the figures: “The retail figures are beginning to chime with reports we have been seeing for a number of months from retailers.
“Sales fell for the second consecutive month in April as both food and household goods contracted. As the housing market is still showing signs of decline, prospects for household goods retailers look challenging in the second half of the year.”