Retail Sales Rise Likely to be Short-lived, says BRC

Last month’s rise in retail sales is unlikely to continue as consumers remain preoccupied with job security, the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) has said. The British Retail Consortium’s monthly figures showed like-for-like retail sales values jumped 5.2% in April this year compared with April 2010 due to the warm weather and consecutive bank holidays. The increase reversed a 3.5% fall in sales in March 2011 on the previous year. “Easter and the Royal Wedding bank holiday provided a badly needed boost to many retailers during April.” said BRC director general, Stephen Robertson. The hottest April since records began also got people out spending on summer clothing and footwear.” “These sales figures are a relief after the dire sales falls we saw in M... »

£40m in Music Licence Fee Refunds

Businesses that play recorded music to an audience on their premises are set to receive more than £40 million in refunds after winning a court battle over excessive licence fees. Firms are due to receive the refunds following the High Court’s decision to reject an appeal by Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL), which represents record companies, to maintain the high licence fees that it imposed in 2005. Many businesses had to pay four times as much for their licence following the increase. Businesses in the retail, hospitality, office and manufacturing sectors will all be eligible for a refund. The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and British Hospitality Association (BHA) have predicted that pubs, hotels and restaurants will receive £20 million in refunds, while the ... »

January Sales Give Retailers Surprise Boost

Retail sales in January this year were higher than in the same period in 2008, after businesses cut prices to encourage consumers to keep spending, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The BRC’s monthly retail sales monitor revealed that, despite the recession, shop sales increased by 1.1 per cent on January 2008 – taking industry analysts unawares.  “These figures are surprising considering people are currently reining in their spending,” said BRC spokesman Krishan Rama. “But although there may be some room for optimism, it may just be a blip due to discounting. “The fundamentals haven’t changed – job fears are mounting and consumer confidence is at record lows,” he added. The BRC research also found food sales increa... »