• Home
  • News
  • Retail
  • Retail sales drop in April as wet weather impacts footfall

Retail sales drop in April as wet weather impacts footfall

By Rachel Douglass


Scroll down to read more


Leeds, UK, shopping street. Credits: Unsplash

Retail sales in the UK took a slight hit in April, dropping 2.3 percent over the period as poor weather impacted footfall.

According to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), sales volumes fell across most sectors, including clothing, dropping below the previous figure of a 0.2 percent decline in March.

Non-food stores saw their volumes drop by 4.1 percent, with clothing retailers and sports equipment among those with the strongest hits.

While the weather may have kept people off the streets, this wasn’t reflected in the shopping behaviour online, where retailers also saw a decline of 1.2 percent in sales for April, and a fall of 1.5 percent over the year.

Despite this, there was a subtle increase in the proportion of sales made online, which rose from 26.2 percent in March to 26.5 percent in April.

Aside from the declines, analysts were more optimistic about the short-term future. Thomas Pugh, economist at RSM UK, for example, said in a statement: “We expect retail sales volumes to continue to gradually improve from here for three key reasons.

“First, households’ real disposable incomes are set to rise rapidly from April as inflation falls back to 2 percent, tax cuts kick in and the large minimum wage increase comes in. This will boost overall consumer spending and retail sales volumes.

“What’s more, consumer confidence should continue to rise, ensuring that households spend most of their new income. Consumer confidence rose to -17 in May, its highest level since 2021. Admittedly, the campaign for the general election may knock consumer confidence in June but we don’t expect this to be significant.”