Miserable weather restrains retail sales in the UK

June 24, 2019 by
Nico Hoeijmans

Photo by Andre Furtado from PexelsAccording to Independent, clothing purchases in the United Kingdom are declining by 4.5%, which is causing sales to fall by 0.5% in May. Due to the gloomy weather, customers are holding off their summer purchases. Online sales are now at a record of a 19.3% share of all retail in May.

Compared to April, sales slightly dipped as shoppers in the UK remained under control. This led to a 4.5% fall in the purchasing of clothes. According to the Office for National Statistics, all retail sales have dropped by 0.5% during the last month. In the last three months leading up to May, sales had increased by 1.6% compared to the three months before that period.

“Warmer weather also brought forward sales in March and April 2019, which increased levels of spending in these months,” noted the ONS. According to retailers, as a result of the poor weather in May, consumers are holding off their purchases for summer clothes.

Lisa Hooker, PwC’s consumer markets leader said: “After Easter's heatwaves, a couple of drizzly bank holidays and a nation preoccupied by politics, things were never going to bode well for retail sales in May in the UK.”

“We don’t believe that this is a sign of weaker consumer confidence. However, it does show how vulnerable the sector is to both short-term factors – for example, national events, weather - as well as the need to structurally reinvent the high street to give consumers more reasons to visit, particularly given increasing net store closures.”

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