Hot weather in April sees shoppers return to stores

Julian Harris
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HIGH street sales sprang back to life last month, boosted by April’s extra bank holidays and sunny weather.

Retail sales were up 5.2 per cent on an annualised like-for-like basis, a big spike from disappointing drops in sales seen in the previous two months.

“Easter and the royal wedding bank holiday provided a badly needed boost to many retailers during April,” said Stephen Robertson of the British Retail Consortium, which compiled the data.

“The hottest April since records began got people out spending on summer clothing and footwear,” Robertson added.

Total sales, which include increases in shop floor space, were up 6.9 per cent compared to the same time last year.

On the three monthly measure, which irons out some volatility, like-for-like sales were up narrowly by 0.1 per cent, with total sales up 0.9 per cent.

Food sales were up in both measures, yet overall retailers still face a drag from declines in sales of non-food items.