Late Easter boosts April retail sales

A late Easter meant that total UK retail sales were up 5.7% in April 2014 compared to April 2013, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

On a like-for-like basis - which doesn't include sales at shops open less than a year - retail sales were up 4.2% in April 2014 versus April 2013.

Other findings include:

  • including the distortions from Easter, 12-month total sales growth was 2.8%
  • furniture and flooring was the best performing category, with its highest growth since Easter 2006
  • online sales of non-food products grew 11.2% in April 2014 compared to a year earlier.

Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, said:

"As anticipated, the Easter break introduced a positive distortion into the April 2014 comparable figures (as the holiday fell in March in 2013) and so April sales were up by 5.7 per cent.

"However what we can say for certain, is that customers responded well to great deals and good ranges in children's clothes, DIY products and furniture, although volumes of food sales did not rise significantly.

"Customers took advantage of the holidays to visit and buy their products in stores, which is a useful reminder that people still very much enjoy the great experience of shopping in store as well as online."