April saw largest decline in sales since 2014, retail figures show

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3rd May 2016 12:11 - Retail

According to The Confederation of British Industry, April saw the largest decline in sales in over four years. The decline was attributed to April’s cold weather, with less people shopping for summer attire as well as the fierce competition for customers between retailers.April saw largest decline in sales since 2014, retail figures finds

The Confederation of British Industry also revealed that shoppers purchased fewer clothes than they did in April 2015. Further to this, sales within department stores also declined.

When questioning the 117 companies in the survey, the researchers discovered that just 22 per cent had experienced an increase in sales in comparison with April 2015. A further 36 per cent said that their sales were lower.

The Confederation’s distributive trends survey revealed a resulting balance of -13 per cent, which was the lowest since that of January 2012 and significantly lower than March 2016’s 7 per cent.

The survey findings were found to correlate with the Britain’s wider economy, with the recovery slowing during January to March of 2016. The Office for National Statistics said that the increase in GDP was found to be 0.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2016, a decline from the 0.6 per cent of the previous months.

The retailers in the survey revealed that they anticipate stronger sales for May, with a resulting balance of 9 per cent; however, this is still far below the long term average of 24 per cent.

The research further highlights the difficulties that high street shops are facing.

Last week Austin Reed, the high street tailor, as well as British Home Stores went into administration, which has consequently jeopardised thousands of jobs.

The latest figures by the Office for National Statistics suggested that sales volumes decreased by 1.3 per cent in March 2016, a far greater fall than the economists’ forecasts of 0.1 per cent.

The figures revealed that the main reason for the low sales figures was the bad weather, which impacted food and apparel sales.

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