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Retail sales warm up in February

Date: Tuesday 09 Mar 2010

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Retail sales recovered in February as the freeze that affected January eased, but the British Retail Consortium still said the figures were 'not strong'.

Like-for-like sales were up 2.2%, the BRC said, compared with the 0.7% fall seen in January, when the snow hampered people's ability to get to the shops, but the BRC added that the comparison in 2009 was very weak and the underlying trends give grounds for caution.

"Despite appearances, these results are not that strong," director general Stephen Robertson said.

"The growth is compared with very weak figures a year ago when February saw the worst of last winter's weather and this February's performance was helped by sales postponed from January - particularly sales of non-food items such as homewares and fashion."

Food sales for instance grew at their slowest rate since 2007, the BRC said.

One beneficiary of the cold weather was online and telephone sales, which rose by 15.5% compared over last year as online retailers caught up with the backlog of orders caused by the cold snap.

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