Retail consultant remains cautious despite April sales rally

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Emmanuel Hembert, principal at the retail practice of global strategy consultancy AT Kearney, urges caution despite the jump in April retail sales.

“As with last month’s figures, the jump in retail sales figures of 5.2% in April should be read with a healthy dose of caution,” he said.

“These optimistic headline figures are essentially circumstantial jumps, be it a royal wedding or exceptional weather.

“However all indications show this year remains overall unchanged. Most importantly it is vital to recognise the underlying issues faced by consumers, notably higher commodity and fuel prices, increased taxes and a drop in government spending has not changed.

“Added to this, the threat posed by increased interest rates to consumer power is a relatively clear indication things are a long way off returning back to normal.”