BRC survey gives a glimmer of hope.

It would seem as though a little light is being seen at the end of the economical tunnel as the  British Retail Consortium has found that sales of retail goods saw a much needed rise through January.

Compared to the same time a year before, retail sales saw the slight hike of 1.1 per cent and rings in the largest increase seen in the country for over half a year, since May 2008.

This news will come to small businesses as a glimmer of hope for the future as the boost experienced in May was mainly due to the sunny weather, which as we are aware wasn’t around in January.

Thank the food industry for the good news.

The main sector behind the boost was the food industry.  Food sales were responsible for a huge 5.1 per cent rise, leaving the non-food sales in the country creeping along with a 1.6 per cent drop.

The British Retail Consortium are applauding the hike in sales figures but is still providing the good news with a warning that confidence is thin on the ground throughout high street retailers.

Don’t count your eggs before they hatch…

The director general of the British Retail Consortium, Stephen Robertson, is still unsure that we should be celebrating about the January hike in sales or not.

“The fundamentals haven’t changed. Job fears are mounting. Consumer confidence is at record lows. It remains to be seen whether January’s discount driven growth was just a blip,” said Robertson.

“Non-food sales fell more slowly suggesting January clearance deals released pent-up demand and customers started to spend on goods they’ve been intending to buy for months.”

The survey was also conducted in collaboration with KMPG, who are also claiming that the food sector is largely to thank for the boost.

The head of retail at KPMG, Helen Dickinson, has said, “The results are heavily skewed by food prices creeping back up again after the heavy promotional activity in December and by a reasonably strong performance in the first week of the month which ended by the second week.”

Online shopping destroying the high street.

Nevertheless, the news should go some way to providing a little optimism around small businesses in the country who have been struggling to remain in a position to trade.

Small businesses have also had the added pressure of competing against online stores who have been able to cut costs drastically due to their comparatively minor business costs.

These online stores witnessed a drastic 30 per cent rise in sales figures through December as many Christmas shoppers went online for the cheapest prices available.

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