Retailers cheer as Easter buyers flock to shops

SHOPPERS flooded back to high streets and shopping centres this April, with sales surging during the late start to Easter, according to a major trade group.

This mornings’s figures on retail sales from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG show a 5.7 per cent jump in spending last month, when compared to the same period in 2013. Even accounting for the seasonal effect, sales have jumped by 2.8 per cent during the year to April, compared to the previous year.

Spending is now rising faster than inflation, which has finally fallen back below the Bank of England’s two per cent target. “Strong April sales figures may have benefited from Easter falling late this year but it is clear that the effects of the wider economic recovery are feeding through to the retail sector, as evidenced by the 3.3 per cent rise in non-food sales in the last quarter,” said David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG.

Online sales growth also grew, with spending increasing by 11.2 per cent from April 2013, a slower increase than has been usual over the last six months. However only 16.1 per cent of retail sales were online, the lowest level in a year.