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Department store sales up 98% in May

Department stores sales bounced back in May, experiencing a 98% rise and outperforming the wider retail sector during the month, following on from a 47% drop in April.

Clothing sales built on an increase of 58% during April to report growth of 62% in May, according to CBI’s latest distributive trades survey. Footwear and leather goods enjoyed a 57% increase.

Across all sectors, 60% of retailers said sales volumes were up on the same period a year ago, with 63% expecting them to grow again next month. However, 51% of wholesalers reported sales volumes to be down on last year.

When asked, 20% of retailers said they expected their overall business situation to improve over the next three months.

The growth of internet sales slowed to 38%, lower than the expected 59% increase, but CBI has predicted a 49% rise in June.

CBI director of economics Rain Newton-Smith said: “Retailers will be encouraged to see growth in sales and orders on the high street bounding ahead. Low inflation, which we expect to remain below 1% for the rest of the year, has given household incomes a much-needed boost and greater spending power.

“Internet sales volumes rose firmly again in the year to May. However, the rate of growth eased off slightly on the previous month and fell back below its long-run average.”


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