UK sales increased 2.6 per cent in October 2013

Demand for gadgets helps retail sales rise

UK retail sales rose 2.6 per cent in October 2013, driven by "sustained demand" for new games and gadgets, says sales tracker BRC.

The figure represents total sales, compared to a 1.1 per cent increase in October 2012. Like-for-like sales rose 0.8 per cent, compared to a 0.1 per cent decrease during the same month last year. 

Online non-food sales rose 12.1 per cent in October 2013 year-on-year.

Helen Dickinson, Director General for the British Retail Consortium, commented: "It’s encouraging to see growth heading in the right direction again after a disappointing slowdown in September. Much of the improvement was driven by sustained demand for new games and gadgets, and there was also a strong showing for home accessories and textiles.

"Consumer confidence paused in October, and while conditions remain challenging, the signs are that customers are managing their budgets well while allowing some leeway for occasional treats. Retailers will be looking to respond to this appetite for good value with a little luxury here and there in their promotions and product offerings for the Christmas period."

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail at KPMG, added: "Clothing and footwear had a difficult month as temperatures refused to drop, whilst other non-food items such as electricals performed better, aided by the online channel.

"The next two months are vital with stock holdings, merchandising and margins being key to success. Shoppers seem reluctant to buy their gifts early and at full price and many may be delaying their purchases in the hope that retailers will discount festive goods as the big day nears. The pressure is on retailers to kick start sales, without the need to heavily discount."

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