Nursery Today magazine

Baby gifts drive June sales growth

UK retail sales recorded the strongest growth for 18 months in the good weather

With consumer confidence at its highest point in 15 years, June saw UK retail sales take an upward turn to record the strongest growth in 18 months.

According to the British Retail Consortium, UK retail sales increased 1.8% on a like-for-like basis when compared to the same time last year, when they dipped 0.8% year on year. On a total basis, sales were up 2.9% against a 0.6% rise in June 2014, leading to the best growth since January 2014.

The toys and baby equipment category was the real winner and the best performing category overall, as sales of outdoor toys soared with the temperature, particularly in the last week of June.

Food sales grew again for the seventh consecutive month, and fashion categories were helped by early summer sales and promotions as the heatwave prompted sales of other seasonal products.

"The retail industry performed strongly last month, experiencing the best overall sales growth in eighteen months, excluding Easter distortions, albeit on the back of a weak June last year,” said Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium. “The last week of June ended the month on a high note, with seasonal items like outdoor toys in high demand.

"We saw welcome signs of growing consumer confidence, with people more willing to ‘trade-up' and spend a bit more on big-ticket purchases, likely boosted by the growth in the supply of credit and other factors such as low inflation and rising real incomes.

“Some of the measures outlined by the Chancellor in last week's budget are likely to help boost consumer confidence even further, with measures like the continued freeze in fuel duty and the increased personal tax allowance ensuring consumers have more money in their pockets to spend.”

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