Placed to meet demand

These days, any changes in retail sales figures are keenly picked at by economists and Government officials who know they are a critical indicator of both the health of the wider UK economy and consumer confidence levels. There are more than 290,000 retail outlets in the country and the sector now accounts for close to a third of all consumer spending, according to industry analysts RetailEconomics. The sector these days is one that increasingly relies on the internet, with annual growth in online retail sales of some 10%, which easily outstrips the low, single-digit figure for the industry as a whole.

Sector at a glance

  • 192,000 - The number of VAT-registered retailers in the UK
  • 1.6% - The increase in retail sales from January 2017 to January 2018
  • 12% - The proportion of retail sales made online