Retail sales volumes grew solidly in the year to July, rebounding from a disappointing performance a month earlier, according to the latest CBI Monthly Distributive Trades Survey.
A total of 46% of retailers said sales volumes rose in the year to July, while 25% said they fell, giving a balance of +21%, beating expectations (+17%).
Among the retail sectors, sales volumes grew for grocers (+33%), clothing (+45%), specialised food & drink (+24%), footwear & leather (+74%), furniture & carpets (+51%) and hardware and DIY (+20%). But chemists’ sales volumes declined (-50%), and non-specialised (department stores) were broadly flat (+2%).
The volume of internet sales also grew strongly (+37%), broadly in line with expectations (+40%), but below the long-run average (+51%);
Elsewhere, sales in the motor trades sector and wholesaling both continued to grow strongly on a year ago, and are expected to rise at a similar pace next month.
Barry Williams, Chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Survey Panel and Asda SVP and Chief Merchandising Officer for Food, said: “As the temperature began to rise, it seems so did sales volumes. Almost all sectors saw growth, with grocers and clothing stores telling us they performed particularly well as people bought barbecue supplies and summer outfits. Retailers expect an even faster rise in sales volumes next month, and are stocking up in anticipation of growing demand.”
In all, 51% said they expect sales volumes to grow next month, while 15% expect them to decrease, giving a balance of +36%. Retailers increased their stocks in relation to expected demand (+32%), now at the highest level since November 1984 (+33%).