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ONS Reports Increase in Retail Spending

19 February 2019 - 09:58 by Simon Crisp

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Although some alternative studies have suggested that the UK’s retail market is facing an uphill struggle to convince consumers to part with their cash at their moment, the Office for National Statistics has just revealed figures which paint a fairly positive picture of the current state of play.

January saw a 4.3 per cent year-on-year increase in spending, according to ONS analysts. This was bolstered further by a 9.8 per cent rise in the amount spent via safe shopping online.

Experts argue that the main reason for this upwards trend is that many retail brands were offering significant discounts during the first month of the year in order to help keep people interested in spending their money in the wake of the festive season.

The report indicated that 18.8 per cent of the entire retail spend recorded in the UK went on e-commerce transactions. There was still a 33 per cent dip in online activity in comparison with December of 2018, but this is to be expected given the power that the pre-Christmas rush holds over the marketplace.

ONS figures also drill down into the different categories of the online shopping marketplace, finding that 20 per cent of all sales were focused on clothing and footwear, according to Internet Retailing.

Over the past quarter there has been a 3.9 per cent rise in spending across the sector, with the ongoing growth of e-commerce helping to allay some of the concerns that remain about the health of the high street.

Footfall at physical stores is down, and consumer confidence is taking a battering at the moment, yet the web continues to convince more and more people to pay for the products they want, largely thanks to improved affordability and the convenience of home delivery service options.