Trade Resources Industry Views Furniture Retail Sales Buoy Slower February

Furniture Retail Sales Buoy Slower February

Furniture was again the top-performing category and the main contributor to retail growth in February, according to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

After hitting a record of +16 in January, GfK’s Major Purchase Index stepped back to +12 in February, and some retailers noticed a switch from large items to home accessories items – yet the majority of respondents were pleased with their furniture performance.

Helen Dickinson OBE, BRC chief executive, comments: “Competition remained strong in the grocery sector, while consumers proved willing to spend money on large-ticket items, namely furniture, driving the month’s performance. This slow growth reflects the increasing pressure the industry is under, as highlighted in our recent Retail 2020 report. With the Budget due this month, we encourage the Government to address the cumulative burden that retailers face; enabling growth and protecting jobs and communities.”

David McCorquodale, UK head of retail, KPMG, adds: “With the implementation of the National Living Wage only weeks away, all the focus is on promotional activity to drive sales and on productivity to protect margins. With fashion design choices made and an early Easter this year, clothing retailers will be hoping for March sunshine to launch the new season’s wares.”

Overall, UK retail sales rose by 0.1% on a like-for-like basis from February 2015, when they had increased 0.2% from the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were up 1.1%, against a 1.7% rise in February 2015. After January’s acceleration, February’s slowdown puts the three-month average growth in line with the 12-month average, at 1.8%.

Online sales of non-food products grew 10.7% in February versus a year earlier, when they had grown 8.3%. The non-food online penetration rate remained above 20% at 20.4%, 1.5% points above February 2015.

Contribute Copyright Policy
Topics: Furniture