David McCorquodale, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, comments on the latest Retail Sales figures from the Office for National Statistics:
“This is another good performance by retailers in what is typically one of the weakest months of the year for the sector. It demonstrates that consumer confidence is holding steady, and they feel secure enough in the future to loosen their purse strings and spend.
”Online played a critical role to help retailers balance the books this month. As the summer blazed on, consumers turned to the internet to buy more summer clothes and shoes, turning their backs on the autumn ranges which had already reached shop shelves. This shows the important symbiotic role online can play for retailers, especially when consumers want to buy off season clothes which are no longer on the rails.
“We must of course note that this recovery in sales is against last year’s very weak comparables, when retailers were badly affected by consumers choosing the Olympics over the shops.
“Retailers now need temperatures to drop, and the season to turn, in order to drive sales of their new autumnal stock in stores. Strong ranges targeted at the customers’ needs, underpinned by tight stock management, will play a vital role in determining the winners from the losers this season.”
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