Retail sales values improve

UK retail sales values improved by 1.9% in January, compared to the previous year when they were down 0.3% from 2011.

Director general of the British Retail Consortium Helen Dickinson claimed these new results are bound to encourage many retailers.

“Retailers didn’t have high hopes for strong sales at Christmas, but this meant that they prepared well and headed into the New Year with less stock to clear than last year,” she added.

In the food and grocery industry, the year started out well after a relatively flat end to 2012. Fifty-five per cent of Britons claimed they were planning to lose weight in January, leading to a boosted sale of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as exotic cooking ingredients.

Commenting on the figures, Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD, stated: “Many people tighten their belts in January and, while price is obviously an important factor, our ShopperVista research shows that 53% of shoppers say they are willing to pay extra for high-quality ingredients.”

Additionally, sales of slow-cooked meats were boosted, which could potentially be due to the cold weather.