According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), UK retail sales were down 1.0% on a like-for-like basis from February 2013.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “Our sales figures for February show a slower pace of growth in the retail industry than in previous months, underlining that the consumer-led recovery is still developing.
“However, this slower growth might have been expected in some ways, given the record sales figures we saw in January and the strong results that we are comparing against from last year. If they were taken together, the figures from the last three months show a 2.8 per cent average growth in the retail industry, a modest increase on the 12 month average.”
Head of retail at KPMG David McCorquodale said: “February saw a hiatus on the high street, with online sales soaring while in store sales stalled. There’s no doubt inclement weather exacerbated this trend, but it certainly underscores the importance of having a sophisticated online operation.
“However overall sales were pretty flat, which serves as a reminder that recovery is far from certain. Retailers need the Government to deliver measures in the forthcoming Budget which will give shoppers more pounds in their pocket, but more importantly imbue them with the confidence to spend them.”