Clothing retail index falls in February

Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Clothing retailers reported the lowest volume of sales in February since March 2009, according to CBI Distributive Trades Survey, which has reported that shoppers are focusing their spending on essential items like food.

The CBI’s latest quarterly Distributive Trades Survey, which was conducted over the first two weeks of February, revealed that 34 per cent of retailers reported an increase in their volume of sales in the year to February and 36 per cent said they had seen a reduction.

However, fortunes were mixed among retail sectors with clothing retailers taking its biggest hit in three years with a reported drop of 41 per cent, joined by household goods and hardware sectors, which also continued to fall rapidly; whereas grocers reported a significant increases in their volume of sales, a balance of +55 per cent, and non-store retailers, which includes online and mail order recording an increase of 71 per cent.

Judith McKenna, Chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel and ASDA Chief Operating Officer, said: “It’s good to see there are more positive signs on our high streets. But consumers are clearly continuing to focus their spending on day-to-day needs, rather than big ticket or luxury items.

“With disposable incomes under constant pressure, retailers remain concerned about the general business outlook for the rest of 2012.”

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