Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Spring Brings a Retail Boost

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Spring Brings a Retail Boost

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Logan

The spring sunshine helped to get the tills ringing for retailers last month, according to sales figures out today.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the home improvement and gardening season got off to a flying start thanks to the mild weather, boosting March UK retail sales by 3.9% on a like-for-like basis.

Sales of women's clothing also benefited from the warmer weather, seeing the strongest like-for-like performance figures across the retail sectors.

But the BRC warned that the figures "may not be as strong as they first appear", with the March 2006 comparison - when sales dropped 1.4% on a like-for-like basis - skewed due to Easter falling in April last year.

Kevin Hawkins, director general of the BRC, said: "While these results are obviously welcome, they must be set against the poor sales performance we reported a year ago.

"Discounting and competition generally show no signs of easing off and many consumers are increasingly wary of making big purchases," he said. …

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