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Footfall boosted by better weather but growth remains slow

BRC: British retail sales up 2.2%

The British Retail Consortium has announced that sales saw year-on-year growth of 2.2 per cent, but said that the consumer confidence remains ‘fragile’.

Although food sales slowed, bricks and mortar non-food sales returned to growth, however this is set against larger declines in the previous year, while online sales of non-food items grew by 15.5 per cent, which is thought to have been driven by the poor weather.

"Despite appearances, these results are not that strong,” said the director general of the BRC, Stephen Robertson. “The growth is compared with very weak figures a year ago when February saw the worst of last winter’s weather and this February’s performance was helped by sales postponed from January – particularly sales of non-food items such as homewares and fashion.

"Consumer confidence is certainly up on this time last year but, with unemployment rising again, spending plans are falling. When the weather-related distortions are stripped away, it’s clear customers are still cautious.”

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