On a total basis, sales increased 4.1% in May, against an increase of 0.2% in May 2017. This is above the 3-month and 12-month averages of 1.2% and 1.5% respectively and the highest increase since January 2014, when not including Easter distortions.
Over the three months to May, in-store sales of non-food items declined 3.0% on a total basis and 4.1% on a like-for-like basis. On a 12-month basis, the total decline was 0.2%. However, on a monthly basis, it was the best performance since January 2016, excluding Easter distortions.
Online sales of non-food products faired even better, growing 11.9% in May, against an easy comparable growth of 4.3% in May 2017. This is above the 3-month and 12-month averages of 8.8% and 8.1% respectively.
Online penetration rate increased from 21.3% in May 2017 to 22.4% in May 2018.
“While the month’s figures may paint a rosier picture, there is no room for complacency,” warned Paul Martin, head of retail at KPMG.
“The market is increasingly being split into winners and losers, with a number of legacy players continuing to face extremely challenging conditions. As such, focusing on transforming businesses both operationally and financially is pivotal.”
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