Survey results released this week by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) gave the retail sector cause for optimism, with 43% of respondents reporting rising sales volumes in the year to June.
It marks the fastest sales growth since September last year, with just 10 per cent reporting a decline in sales.
It appears that the prolonged hot weather has had a positive effect on consumer spending, with online goods, departments stores and durable goods performing well. However, clothing shops and furniture stores fared less well according to the survey results – findings that were backed up later this week when certain clothing retailers released less than favourable results.
Anna Leach, CBI head of economic intelligence, said: “Higher-than-average temperatures seem to have had a positive effect on shoppers, with retailers benefiting from above-average seasonal sales and improved order volume growth.”
So how are savvy retailers capitalising on unexpected hot weather?
Our CEO, Mike Danby, shares his thoughts: “For the retail industry, hot weather has the potential to be either a blessing or a curse – the performance reports in the media this week offer a case in point; it’s very much a mixed-bag of results. The key for seasonal spikes, like Black Friday for example, is solid planning; retailers prepare for those events six months in advance. However, prolonged hot weather poses more of a challenge and will see retailers’ drawing on their entire supply chain if they’re to make the most of heat wave sales.
“The retailers reporting strong sales in the coming weeks will be those that operate an agile supply chain with complete visibility of stock, allowing them to replace and replenish products quickly and efficiently to make the most of customer demand. There’s nothing more frustrating than stock lying in a warehouse somewhere instead of in store or on the shelf ready to go. Retailers are trading in one of the most challenging retail environments this country has ever experienced – it’s vital that they make the absolute best of every opportunity to drive sales, particularly those operating bricks and mortar stores. The future of the UK high street depends on it.”