A look at the latest ONS retail sales figures

20 September 2019

Ryan Kemp, our director of retail, comments on the latest ONS Retail Sales Index:

“In the three months leading up to August 2019, retail sales increased by 0.6% in quantity and 1.1% in spend. Although this is less than the increases seen earlier in the year, both quantity bought and amount spent are up on last year – by 3.3% and 2.7% respectively – which is very heartening in light of the current uncertainty over Brexit.

“The slight drop in online sales as a portion of all retail – to 19.7% from 19.9% in July 2019  –   may come as a surprise but is likely due to the spike in online sales seen in the run up to summer, followed by a lull during the peak summer period. However, when compared with 12 months earlier, online sales were up 11.6%, with strong growth in internet sales reported across most sectors.

“As retailers look toward the end of the year and are preparing for the busy holiday periods when sales soar, it’s imperative they are stepping up fraud prevention, particularly for card-not-present (CNP) transactions. Mass adoption of ecommmerce, cross-border payments and the addition of new digital payment methods all add a new level of complexity.

“Having the right real-time checks in place ensures they are protecting their customers and themselves, whilst decreasing operational cost and delivering the seamless online shopping experience that consumers expect.”

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