Retail sales grew for the first time since November 2018 in the year to April, according to the latest monthly CBI Distributive Trades Survey.
The survey of 110 firms, of which 55 were retailers, showed that sales volumes rose for the first time in five months, supported by the later Easter holiday.
Grocers and other goods retailers, such as jewellery and flowers, were the two biggest drivers of the growth.
Other sectors fared worse, with sales falling notably in clothing and department stores.
The report states that stockpiling is likely to have supported economic growth earlier in the year.
However, as flagged by business surveys, underlying conditions remain more subdued, as Brexit uncertainty and slower global growth bites further on activity.
Rebekah O’Neill, centre manager at Four Seasons, said: “The findings of the CBI Distributive Trades Survey reports similar patterns to what we’ve seen from our retailers at the shopping centre being generally positive.
“Since November, there has been an approximate 50-50 split of stores reporting sales levels higher than last year and some lower.
"What is really positive for Four Seasons and Mansfield is the majority of our tenants are trading strongly within their own companies and against other branches in their regions like our Ann Summers shop, which is the second-best performing store in the UK.
“There are some great, national stories coming out of the retail industry too, including news of record profits of £4.7bn for JD Sports*. Four Seasons welcomed the sports retailer in November, into a unit that’s double the size of its previous location. Not to mention Primark’s head office announcing an operating profits surge of 29.4 percent in just 24 weeks**. We
are proud that our retailers are part of this success story.
“Whilst retail is under heavy scrutiny at present, there are a lot of encouraging signs and we welcome the positive start to the second quarter of the year.”
*Source - Retail Week
**Source – Retail Gazette