The ONS October 2015 Retail Sales, released this morning, reveal growth in the sector for the 30th consecutive month. However, there could be delayed spending on the horizon as people wait for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday bargains.
The key findings are:
- Year-on-year estimates in the quantity bought in the retail industry showed growth for the 30th consecutive month in October 2015, increasing by 3.8% compared with October 2014.
- The underlying pattern in the data, as suggested by the 3 month on 3 month movement in the quantity bought, showed growth for the 23rd consecutive month, increasing by 0.9%.
- Average store prices (including petrol stations) fell by 3.3% in October 2015 compared with October 2014, the 16th consecutive month of year-on-year price falls.
- The amount spent in the retail industry increased by 0.5% in October 2015 compared with October 2014 but decreased by 0.7% compared with September 2015.
- The value of online sales increased by 11.2% in October 2015 compared with October 2014 but decreased by 0.8% compared with September 2015.
According to Phil Mullis, Partner and Head of Retail and Wholesale at top-20 UK accountancy firm, Wilkins Kennedy, Halloween would have made a significant contribution to the Retail Sales figures as customers and retailers alike jumped on the spooky seasonal bandwagon.
"People are also seeing their money go further, as wages continue to rise with both inflation and fuel costs remaining low" Phil commented. "As such, customers are seeing more bang for their buck when it comes to spending out extras on events such as Halloween.
"Internet sales have also continued to grow, driven particularly by department stores who are constantly improving their online offering. "
However, it will be interesting to see if there is any delayed spending as customers wait for the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals – and how that affects the Retail Sales figures in November and December."
Phil concluded: "Looking ahead, conditions are set fair for retailers to have a good November and hopefully an even better December. As long as people haven't bought their Christmas presents too early, then the added bonus of a full shopping week before Christmas Day on the Saturday will be good news for retail sales."