Warm Weather Gives Retail Boost
Updated: 1:51am UK, Sunday 14 July 2013
The feelgood factor from some warmer weather has helped boost retail figures for June, by getting more people out spending.
Like-for-like sales rose by 1.4% last month compared to 2012, according to the British Retail Consortium with clothing and footwear seeing the biggest increases.
Helen Dickinson, director general of the BRC, said the better weather made a "huge difference".
"Within clothing and fashion sales, people have been waiting for the weather to get better before they were encouraged out into the shops.
"But it also required retailers to be pretty competitive on pricing in order to enable them to do that - so there was a lot of promotional activity mixed in to encourage us to do that spending."
Nicola Sexton owns a shoe boutique in the Suffolk market town of Bury St Edmunds and has noticed the effect the sunshine has had on customers.
"People feel better within themselves. They come in and they are far more inclined to spend and find something new.
"When it's raining outside and dull the last thing you want to be doing is taking your boots off and trying on shoes."
Retail sales have increased for five out of the first six months of the year.
And the number of retailers going into administration in the first half of 2013 is 30% lower than the same period last year.
But John Deane-Bowers, who owns Trotter and Deane menswear, believes there could still be tough times ahead.
"I don't think we should be under any illusions. Business is very tough and if we weren't working hard to stimulate business we might well be suffering along with plenty of others."
More good weather will undoubtedly help. And after the Jubilee and Olympics proved such a stimulant for business in 2012, the biggest factor this summer could well be the arrival of a royal baby.
Chris Wade, chief executive of Action for Market Towns said: "An event like that makes people feel better. Andy Murray winning the tournament makes people feel better and people coming into the town centre and spending, that gives shops a boost."
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