Cold weather drives sales of boots, says Grant Thornton retail boss

Clothing and footwear has sold well in November with cold weather driving boots, woollens and coat sales, according to Barry Knight, head of retail at Grant Thornton UK LLP.

Commenting on the latest monthly retail sales figures from the Office for National Statistics, Knight said: “The rise in the November retail sales figures is particularly good news as it compares to the reasonably strong sales achieved in November 2009.

“Leading up to Christmas it is encouraging that the volumes of sales are up by 1.1% and, weather permitting, sales will hopefully continue to hold up. The imminent VAT increase will also have a huge impact on bringing sales forward with most DIY and big ticket retailers having some form of offer in December, which will boost sales.

“Household goods are however having a torrid time. Like-for-like figures for Carpetright, a bellwether for the household goods market, were down due in part to a weakened housing market, and indicates how badly the rest of the household goods market must be suffering.

“As expected, internet sales remain robust and continues to replace store purchases, now accounting for over 10% of sales.”