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Clothing and footwear sales edge up in May

Clothing and footwear sales notched up 0.7% year-on-year for the month of May while clothing volumes fell 1%.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics overall retail sales values, excluding fuel, jumped 3.9% year-on-year in May as Brits prepared to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Overall values were also up 1% on the previous month of April over the month.

Sales volumes increased 2.4% year-on-year, and edged up 1.4% against April.

Non food-stores experience a 1% rise in volume while values experienced a 9.3% increase.

Barclays head of retail and wholesale Richard Lowe said: “The high street celebrated as Britain brought out the bunting last month and sales of food, booze and Union Jacks climbed in the run up to the Jubilee.”

British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson said the first glimpse of sun over the month enticed shoppers to stores. He said: “The seemingly shy sunshine, hardly seen since March, had created pent-up demand for summer goods which was finally unleashed.

“Modest sales of coats and carpets gave way to much better sales of t-shirts and barbecues as interest finally turned outdoors.”

Store price inflation slowed to 0.9%, its lowest annual rate since October 2009. 

Non-store retailers leaped 13.5% in value, and 14.9% in volume. The average weekly value for online sales in May was £510.9m, or 8.8% of overall retail sales.

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