Updated: Fri, 22 Mar 2013 17:02:07 GMT | By pa.press.net

Retail sales bounce back by 2.1%

Retail sales rebounded by a better-than-expected 2.1% last month as shoppers returned to the high street after a snow-hit start to the year, new figures have revealed.


Shoppers have returned to the high street after a snow-hit start to the year

Shoppers have returned to the high street after a snow-hit start to the year

Retail sales rebounded by a better-than-expected 2.1% last month as shoppers returned to the high street after a snow-hit start to the year, new figures have revealed.

Strong sales of tablet computers helped drive the bounce-back, while department stores also benefited with sales up 10.6% in February, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The surge in retail sales volumes came after a dire January, when sales plunged after many small shops were forced to shut as snow blanketed much of Britain.

Analysts said the latest figures came as a surprise, given that average earnings growth of 1.2% is well short of inflation at 2.8% and consumer confidence remains low.

Despite the economic difficulties, some companies such as Zara, Sports Direct and Asos have reported strong results recently.

Peter Saville, partner at restructuring firm Zolfo Cooper, said: "This is certainly a step in the right direction, but retailers can't afford to take their eye off the ball.

"Struggling firms will need to follow in the footsteps of these successful retailers by staying on top of the latest trends, providing an innovative experience for shoppers and developing a multi-channel approach."

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