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Retail recovers as shoppers hit the stores again

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19/05/2006

Retail sales were up in April, powered by the non-food sector, according to the latest Government figures. Overall sales in the three months to end of April were up 0.1%, recovering from the 0.6% dip seen in the quarter to the end of March.

“These are encouraging figures after a pretty torrid time for the High Street,” said retail analyst Debbie Harrison. “The average weekly value of sales in April was £4.7m, 3.6% higher than in April 2005, and 4.5% ahead of March 2006.”

She continued: “However, for all that these are encouraging numbers, overall levels of spending are down from the heights seen in recent years and the increasing number of deeply indebted consumers is a worry.

“But retailers really need to encourage the consumer with deep discounting if they are to see a continued improvement in their takings.”

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