Strongest sales growth for three years

Sales in the UK’s retail sector grew at the fastest rate for three years, according to a report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

In February, total sales rose by 4.4%, the sharpest rise since February 2010 when total sales increased by 4.5%, and like-for-like sales were up by 2.7%, the fastest rate since December 2009. Furthermore, online sales were up 10.9% over February 2012, at which point they had risen by 9.9%.

The new figures, a source of optimism for retailers, give the impression that retail is bouncing back from a disappointing close to 2012. Given the recent spate of high-profile administrations, including Blockbusters and HMV, retailers would do well to remain cautious. Helen Dickinson, Director General of the BRC, stated that it was too soon to say the new data demonstrated a “permanent turnaround”.

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