UK retail sales slowed in May but rose year-on-year thanks to sales of big-ticket items, says the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
High-price items like televisions and games consoles were to thank for a 2.3 per cent rise in total spending for Q1 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013, said the BRC.
A dip in food sales was to blame for a slow May, following a booming April for retailers, the BRC added.
Food stores saw a drop in quarterly sales for the first time since records began in 2008.
However, total money spent in stores during May rose two per cent compared to the same period last year. April sales similarly rose by 5.7 per cent, attributed to a well-timed Easter holiday.
"The recovery is gaining pace in the retail sector, but the latest figures reveal the scale of the paradox that has emerged," commented David McCorquodale, head of retail at analyst KPMG, which sponsored the survey.
"While non-food retailers are seeing steady sales growth, the grocers appear locked in a race to the bottom, imposing price cut after price cut to maintain their sales volumes."
Image of retail transaction courtesy of Shutterstock.co.uk