Retail sales in Great Britain were better than expected, rising by 0.3% in May, following April’s 0.5% increase.
The Office for National Statistics said online retailers selling outdoor-related goods and summer clothing had strong sales, boosted by warmer weather.
Food sales were down 0.5%, despite increased spending on takeaways and fast food because of the extra bank holiday for the king’s coronation; however retailers also indicated that the increased cost of living and food prices continued to affect sales volumes, the ONS said.
Erin Brookes, European retail and consumer lead at the professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal, said: “The King’s coronation was cause for celebration across the High Street as the extra bank holiday boosted sales in May. With consumers in a festive mood for the once-in-a-lifetime event, and good weather throughout the month, retailers saw elevated demand for outdoor goods and summer clothes.
“The challenge for retailers will be to continue to attract footfall as the macroeconomic environment worsens. A well-managed blend of newness will drive consumer interest even when demand is weaker, alongside a core assortment to maintain loyalty and drive healthy margins. Summer sales have also begun earlier this year as retailers seek to rotate stock – those who can do this effectively and avoid costly warehousing will emerge as winners.”