In April, UK retail sales increased by 3.7 per cent on a like-for-like basis from April 2018, when they had decreased 4.2 per cent from preceding year. The 2-year average like-for-like change was -0.3 per cent per annum. The April figures are positively distorted by timing of the run-up to Easter, which is in April this year compared to March in previous year.
On a total basis, sales increased by 4.1 per cent in April, against a decrease of 3.1 per cent in April 2018. This was above both the 3-month and 12-month average increases of 1.2 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively. The 2-year average growth, which corrects for the Easter distortion, was 0.4 per cent per annum, a slowdown from March’s equivalent of 0.9 per cent.
Over the three months to April, in-store sales of non-food items declined 1.7 per cent on a total basis and 1.8 per cent on a like-for-like basis. This is in line with the 12-month total average decline of 1.8 per cent. Online, the 3-month and 12-month average growths were 4.1 per cent and 6.2 per cent respectively.
Over the three-months to April, non-food retail sales in the UK decreased by 0.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis and by 0.1 per cent on a total basis. This is below the 12-month total average increase of 0.2 per cent. This is the first time the long-term non-Food trend turned positive since October 2017. Online sales of non-food products grew 4.3 per cent in April, against a growth of 6.7 per cent in April 2018. The 2-year average growth, was 5.5 per cent per annum, in line with March’s 5.4 per cent but below the 12-month average of 6.2 per cent. Online penetration rate increased from 28 per cent in April 2018 to 29.7 per cent last month.