Thursday, July 25, 2024

Fashion and furniture shopping help UK retail sales rebound in May

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A rebound in the number of shoppers flocking to fashion and furniture stores helped boost retail sales last month, after wet weather dampened spending in April, according to new official figures.

The quantity of items bought rose by 2.9% in May, following a fall of 1.8% in April, the Office for National Statistics said. April’s data has been revised up from a previous estimate of a 2.3% decrease.

The figure has beaten forecasts, with some economists expecting sales to rise by a softer 1.6% last month.

The volume of sales rose across most sectors last month, compared with April, when poor weather reduced the number of people shopping.

Clothing retailers, furniture, footwear, sports equipment, games and toy stores had a strong month, thanks to more visitors, warmer weather and the impact of promotions.

Florists also helped drive a 3.5% increase in total non-food store sales in May, which includes department stores and homeware shops.

This was the biggest monthly rise in three years, the ONS said.

Meanwhile, watches and jewellery retailers and second-hand goods stores were among those seeing a slight fall in spending compared with the previous month.

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