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Shoppers look elsewhere

shopping2Furniture and flooring retailers missed out on a sales upturn in May, according to the British Retail Consortium, with shoppers spending on food and drink and summer clothing instead.

The BRC says the value of retail sales rose by 1.3% on a like for like basis and by 3.4% on a total basis. However the figures are compared to May 2011, which was a weak month.

'Big-ticket items continued to struggle as consumers' underlying caution about jobs and the economy restrained larger big-ticket purchases. Retailers are hoping that the Jubilee celebrations will have helped to pull out them of the mire, but a short-term patriotic spending spree will not overcome the underlying difficulties facing the industry - which remains under pressure from a combination of declining consumer confidence and squeezed incomes. After a dismal April, May was a much better month and many retailers will be breathing a small sigh of relief. Businesses in the home-related sectors found the going much tougher. Those not selling big-ticket home-related items are hoping the sun stays out all summer long,' says Helen Dickinson, KPMG head of retail.