There’s no getting away from the fact that consumer confidence has been subdued over recent years. In the wake of the banking crisis, lots of people were left feeling strapped for cash and nervous about their financial futures.
However, the tide seems to be turning, meaning demand for beautiful and fun fashion items and accessories may well be on the rise.
Highlighting this fact, the latest Distributive Trades Survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has revealed that retail sales grew strongly in the year to February and beat expectations. According to the CBI, sales increased at the fastest pace since June 2012.
The poll of 120 companies showed that sales have climbed for nine months in a row. Reflecting the improved conditions, retailers’ investment intentions for the year ahead were at their strongest since November 2010.
Sales of clothes bounced back from a disappointing January to achieve a balance in sales growth of +33 per cent. More generally, 45 per cent of respondents reported that sales volumes were up on a year ago, while eight per cent revealed they were down. This gave a positive balance of +37 per cent.
In addition, 43 per cent of retailers expect sales to rise at a robust pace next month, while 15 per cent anticipate that they will fall. This leaves a balance of +28 per cent.
The urge to spend
Commenting on the statistics, chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Survey Panel Barry Williams said: “The high streets have kicked on once again this month, with growth the strongest since the summer of 2012.
“There is growth across many sectors, including grocers and clothing outlets, while investment intentions are at their highest for more than three years. Although we are by no means seeing a universally confident shopper, the positive indicators have perhaps given some people the urge to spend. Overall sales have been remarkably resilient in the face of disruption from the exceptional weather across the UK, which has badly affected many families and businesses.”
The savvy way to shop
These days, many consumers head into cyberspace to purchase the items they are after, whether they want new handbags, makeup bags, stationery or anything else. While high street outlets still offer a great experience to shoppers, the web is often seen as a more convenient alternative.
After all, people lead busy lives and so they can lack the time needed to head off on shopping trips. Instead, by using the internet, they can peruse the options open to them while on a break at work, in the evening while waiting for their dinners to cook, while taking trips on public transport and so on. Once they have found the items they are after, all they have to do is place their orders and await delivery.
The web also offers impressive levels of choice. People are not limited by the stores they happen to have in their areas. Instead, they can peruse the wares of retailers based hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
Anna Longdin is a fashion writer and blogger. When she’s not working, she loves to check out the latest products and trends, and she takes inspiration from sites including SewLomax.