the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects
Crime
reduction
 


Inward
investment
information
 


Licensee
Forum
 

Workforce development 

Transport
 

Business &
climate
change

Property &
Development sites

Business
Improvement
Districts

Housing
 

Strategy
 

Consultation opportunities
 

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton
business.co.uk

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 18 February 2011

Positive January retail figures could be deceptive

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published a 6.4% annual increase in the total value of sales for January. This is strong result but is it a sign of an upward trend or are there some very specific reasons why this trend will not continue into February.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) the figures are distorted due to people rushing to beat the VAT rise and a knock on effect from the severe weather that prevented people getting to the shops before Christmas.

 Reacting to the figures published on Friday 19 February by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) British Retail Consortium Director General Stephen Robertson said, “Superficially, these are strong figures but they don’t indicate any permanent revival in customers’ willingness to spend.

“Though a 6.4% increase in the total value of sales is greater than the 4.2% recorded by our own Retail Sales Monitor for the same period, it is telling the same story.

“Growth this January was driven by a relatively short but strong burst of non-food buying early in the month. Some of that was spending held over from December when severe weather stopped people getting out. Shoppers also took their final opportunity to beat the VAT rise in the first few days of January. Then, even after the VAT rise came in, it did minimal damage to sales because the effect on prices was largely lost among a mass of discounts and promotions.

“But these are short-term influences. Our own figures show spending tailed off sharply as the month developed. Slumping consumer confidence indicates concerns about jobs and finances are now reasserting themselves. February’s results will be a better indicator of how things really are.”

Meanwhile online sales continue to rise unabated. According to figures from Experian Hitwise  this year saw the busiest post-Christmas shopping period ever seen online. In particular, big ticket items such as TVs and laptops were in high demand before the VAT increase on 4 January 2011 which no doubt contributed to the success of electronics brands like Apple, Currys and Comet this quarter.

It is becoming clearer that the high street needs to reinvent itself if it is to continue to thrive. Businesses will survive by selling online but the heart and soul of the city could very soon disintegrate if we cannot see a way to make shopping more of an experience.


Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants
Recession
British Retail Consortium
Experian


Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


Headlines

15 December 2017
Brighton is among the best places to start a business due to their strong growth factors
15 December 2017
GTR consultation ends 20th Dec 2017 13 December 2017
Ethical Food StartUp Programme - Idea Generation Workshop 12 December 2017
Utilise Plus launch programme of energy efficiency grants and business support for SMEs 11 December 2017
City Centre Vacancy Rates Drop Slightly From Sept 5 December 2017
Innovate UK Announces Sector Competitions in Manufacturing and Infrastructure Systems 5 December 2017
GDPR, steps to early compliance 1 December 2017
The 29th Sussex Business Awards 2017 Winners Announced 1 December 2017
Old tech gear? Give IT a new lease of life 29 November 2017
Driving for Better Business Campaign launches 29 November 2017
ARKA Funerals sponsor Burning the Clocks 2017 with 'In Memory' lanterns 27 November 2017
Govia Thameslink launches third consultation phase on once-in-a-generation timetable restructure 23 November 2017
Coast to Capital Launches Brighton Mainline Alliance 22 November 2017
Calling all UK companies that have transport, parking and commuting issues to address 15 November 2017
Start-up Challenge Business Competition Offering £10,000 Investment to Young Entrepreneurs 15 November 2017
IUK Announces £10 Million Innovation Loans Infrastructure Systems Funding Competition for UK SMEs 15 November 2017
Sussex Food and Drink Grand Finalists Celebrate Success 10 November 2017
Meaning conference confirms speaker line-up: breeding a new army of business activists 10 November 2017
Positive body image documentary screening at Hove school 8 November 2017
Material Practices: Painting and Printmaking at the University of Brighton - Private View 8 November 2017
Economic Partnership kick starts city strategy consultation 8 November 2017
GTR respond to positive ASLEF referendum result 7 November 2017
350th employer signed up to the Brighton & Hove Campaign 7 November 2017
Rampion announces £4 million community fund 6 November 2017
The First Gamification Conference comes to Brighton 3 November 2017
Shoreham Port Welcomes New Commercial and Operations Director 2 November 2017
Burning the Clocks launches Crowdfunder for 2017 2 November 2017
The Gatwick Diamond Business Awards are now open for Entries 31 October 2017
Brighton Based Paxton Open New Centre for Technology & Innovation 27 October 2017
Adventures in risk taking for high growth businesses 27 October 2017
Can your business benefit from offering a 'world of work' experience? 27 October 2017
The Small Business Saturday Bus Tour launches across the UK for its fifth year 24 October 2017
Business Networking & Case Study Visit with the Sustainable Business Partnership 24 October 2017
Could you use an Energy Saving Workshop? 17 October 2017
Peter Blake raffle raises £2,290 for Middle Street School 17 October 2017
AMEX named major sponsor of city's bike share scheme 16 October 2017
Ropetackle Business Friends scheme 4 October 2017
VIRGIN STARTUP MEETUP 'HOW TO TELL (SELL) YOUR STORY' 3 October 2017
BTN BikeShare: a successful first month 3 October 2017
PLATF9RM open at Hove Town Hall