Record year for the high street, finds government figures 

The value of retail sales in 2014 is forecast to be at an all-time high for the UK, at around £342 billion.

The value of retail sales in 2014 is forecast to be at an all-time high for the UK, at around £342 billion.

This will be a rise of £48 billion on 2010, according to estimates from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

It has also been a record year for smaller firms which have turned over £72 billion in the last year.

The booming retail sector now employs 10 per cent of the UK workforce, equivalent to over three million people and nearly 90,000 apprentices.

The advent of new ‘sale’ days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are expected to have contributed to the record jump in sales, with the pre-Christmas November sales up by 5.2 per cent on last year.

Yesterday (23 December) will be the UK high street’s busiest shopping day, with spending predicted to peak at £1.3 billion for the day.

More than 16 million people shopped in small independent businesses on 6th December which was Small Business Saturday, 2.7 million more shoppers than the same time last year. 

Tills in independent shops and small businesses rang in an average of £30.56 per person, which equates to a total of £504 million across the UK as a whole; up £36 million on last year.

Business minister Matthew Hancock said: ‘The return of the high street is fantastic news and goes to show that we are on course for prosperity. More business are starting up, thriving and creating jobs for people.

‘We have consistently backed retail and the review of business rates announced in this year’s Autumn Statement should be another big boost for Britain’s high streets.’

Hancock adds that the rise of independent retailers is testament to the wave of entrepreneurialism sweeping the UK as part of a strong economic recovery.

Nick Boles, minister responsible for retail said: ‘High streets have cause for celebration after a bumper year of sales. It’s particularly pleasing to see independent shops doing so well.

‘We are determined to help them thrive and look forward to 2015, which I want to make an even more successful year for Britain’s retailers.’

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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