Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 19 April 2015

Retail sector sales pace slowest in five years

Retail sales rose at their slowest pace for five months in February as food stores suffered their worst performance for more than five years, according to new figures.

The latest CBI survey revealed the grocery sector saw sales fall for the first time since last April, with the lowest reading since November 2008. While overall sales volumes continued to rise in February, growth fell for the third month in a row with 37% of retailers reporting an increase and 29% seeing a fall, giving a net balance of eight.

The decline in grocery sales comes amid the horse meat scandal.

Grocers have also been hit by freezing weather in the UK after last month's snow ensured a difficult start to 2013.

Official figures for January showed that food sales saw the biggest month-on-month fall since May 2011, down 1.6%, as many small grocers were forced to shut up shop. DIY and hardware stores have also beenhit by the freezing weather.

Barry Williams, chair of the CBI Survey Panel and Asda chief food merchandising officer, said: "Worries about the economy, pay freezes and the rising cost of living will mean shoppers remain cautious for the foreseeable future."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?



Company Profiles


Help & Advice


People on the move