1. News
March 9, 2022

BRC registers 6.7% increase in UK retail sales for February

Non-food retail sales increased by 6.9% on a like-for-like basis in the three months to February.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has reported that UK retail sales grew by 6.7% on a total basis last month compared with a 1.0% increase last February.

The figure is above the three-month average growth of 6.5%, but less than the 11.3% average increase usually reported on a 12-month basis.

Retail sales increased by 2.7% last month on a like-for-like (LFL) basis from February last year.

During the month, online non-food sales declined by 28.4%, having risen by 82.2% in the same period last year.

For the three months to February, non-food retail sales in the UK increased by 12.0% on a total basis and were up by 6.9% on an LFL basis.

Food sales for the three-month period increased by 0.1% on a total basis but dropped by 0.3% on an LFL basis.

In addition, in-store sales of non-food items for this period were up by 71.2% on a total basis and 57.2% on an LFL basis.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “February saw continued sales growth, although dampened by Storm Eunice and falling consumer confidence.

“Traditional try-before-you-buy products, like furniture and home accessories, as well as fashion and jewellery, continued to be the highflyers as more people returned to stores.

“While online sales remained down on last year, the new spending habits driven by the pandemic have settled into a new normal, particularly for non-food, with four in every ten pounds now spent online compared to three in every ten before the pandemic.

“Retail has driven five years’ of digital transformation in 24 tumultuous months. The future is looking increasingly uncertain, with current demand unlikely to be sustained.

“Consumer confidence, falling in recent months, will likely tumble further against the backdrop of the current geopolitical events.”

Last month, the BRC reported that retail footfall in the UK decreased by 17.1% in January compared with two years prior.