March’s ONS retail figures reveal a 6.7% annual rise in high street sales as the sun lured out shoppers – but 12.4% online growth put that in the shade cautions ParcelCompare
High street stores enjoyed a 6.7% rise in the volume of products sold this March compared to March last year, the latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) Retail figures have revealed.
But before high street stores rest on their laurels, the home delivery expert ParcelCompare points out that was against terrible shopping weather as the Beast From the East snow storm dug in last March. And it also cautions that online sales volumes rose even more steeply, by 12.4% year-on-year.
Says ParcelCompare’s head of consumer research, David Jinks MILT:
‘It’s good to see signs that the high street is capable of holding its own against the rise of e-commerce. A 6.7% rise in sales volumes against last March is certainly to be celebrated. But town centre stores should hold the champagne, as online sales also grew at nearly twice the rate.’
The only high street losers in March were Britain’s troubled department stores. Their sales actually fell 0.3% year-on-year. Says David: ‘Debenham’s widely publicised battles would not have encouraged shoppers back into their local department stores. The ray of hope is that online department store sales did actually go up in March, rising 3.4% year-on-year. As we have been saying for some time, a multichannel approach to sales, as exemplified by John Lewis, looks to be the best way forward for our beleaguered high street favourites.’