The Royal wedding helped send the country’s retail sales figures soar last month as Britons stocked up on prosecco and food to join in the celebrations.
The sunny weather also played a part in the rise, which saw sales increase by 3.9 per cent compared to the year before, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Supermarkets said they saw a boom in sales as royal fans stocked up on fizz and party food to enjoy as they watched Prince Harry and Meghan exchange their vows.
But May’s booming sales were preceded by several months of sluggish growth hovering at around one or 1.5 per cent from January until the end of April.
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The royal wedding helped fuel a rise in retail sales which increased by 3.9 per cent compared to the year before, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said
Many Britons flocked to Windsor to watch Harry and Meghan (pictured) tie the knot while others held street parties across the UK
ONS said: ‘Feedback from retailers suggested that a sustained period of good weather and Royal wedding celebrations encouraged spending in food and household goods stores in May.
‘The quantity bought saw a sharp increase to year-on-year growth in May at 3.9% when compared with April at 1.4 per cent – possibly due to a combination of warm weather and slow year-on-year growth in May 2017 at 0.8 per cent.’
The figures also lay bare the sheer scale of the trend which has seen shoppers shun the high street and flock online.
The number of overall online sales has soared – accounting for 16.2 per cent of all sales, according to the ONS figures.
And the trend is even starker with clothes, as some 17.6 per cent of the sales were done on the internet in May 2018.
Britain’s high streets have seen a bloodbath of major retailers, with House of Fraser and Debenhams closing many of its shops costing thousands of jobs.
This week Poundworld announced it is going into receivership – putting 5,000 jobs at risk.
While Marks and Spencer are also making deep cuts as it has struggled to compete in the increasingly competitive clothes market.
The May heatwave saw people flock outside to soak up the sun (pictured, at Brighton beach) and this helped fuel sales, the ONS said
Supermarkets said they saw a boom in sales as royal fans stocked up on fizz and party food to enjoy as they watched Prince Harry and Meghan exchange their vows. Royal watchers daisy Brooke,1, with her mum Kelly from Bracknell, were among those who made the trip to Windsor to watch the wedding
The flurry of closures have fuelled warnings that Britain’s high streets are in a grip of a major crisis which could leave some town centres feeling likes ghost towns.
Retail chiefs have torn into the punishing business rates they have to pay – warning that this is one of the reasons behind the closures.
And they point out that online conglomerates like Amazon are raking in profits while paying far less tax.
Ministers have come under growing pressure to come up with a plan to help protect Britain’s high streets.
Chris Daly, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Marketing said: ’Retail is increasingly becoming a tale of two halves: online versus in-store.
‘While one enjoys increasing margins and success, the other struggles from decreasing footfall.
‘Online shopping offers consumers the freedom to choose the best deals at their fingertips, with shoppers of all ages becoming more comfortable at purchasing online.’