High Street sales remain sluggish

| May 3, 2011
High Street sales remain sluggish

High Street sales remain sluggish, rising slightly in April compared with a year ago, but disappointing retailers’ expectations.

According to the latest Distributive Trades Survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), only 12% of retailers reported “good” sales last month, while 35% said they were “poor”.

However, many retailing sub-sectors saw a modest improvement in sales growth in the year to April, with grocers and clothing retailers leading the way.

Chemists, on the other hand, saw sales volumes take a further turn for the worse and sales growth of footwear & leather also deteriorated.

Sales of durable household goods, including big-ticket electrical items, continued to fall, though at a slower pace than previously, as did hardware and DIY.

With May’s performance expected to remain “well below” seasonal norms, orders placed with suppliers were unchanged in April, on an annual basis.

Commenting on the data, the CBI’s chief economic adviser, Ian McCafferty, says: a�?With few signs of demand picking up rapidly in the coming months, conditions on the high street look like remaining tough for retailers.a�?

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