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‘Beast from the East’ leaves retailers finding their feet

Beast from the East leaves retailers finding their feet

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG comments on the latest CBI Distribution Trades Survey.


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Commenting on the latest CBI Distribution Trades Survey, Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, said: 

“The latest Distribution Trades Survey from the CBI confirms what was to be expected: the ‘Beast from the East’ put retail sales on ice, with retailers reporting a marked fall in sales volumes. 

It’s perhaps obvious that with shoppers struggling to make it down their driveway, shops on the high street or in town stood no chance of achieving regular footfall in their stores. Whilst some consumers might have ventured out to pick up the essentials from their local convenience store, non-food categories and visiting larger shopping destinations like department stores were the last thing on anyone’s mind. 

It is surprising that the latest figures point to such a dip in online growth, but it’s likely that those stranded at home were either preoccupied playing in the snow, or pre-empted delivery issues and therefore put off their purchases.

These are tender times for retailers, with just a few days of trading often marking the difference between yearly success or failure. There are obviously winners and losers in any situation, and it’s likely the cold snap will have been favourable for grocers and those showcasing winter ware, but the run-up to Easter will be even more significant this year, as retailers look to find their feet after the snow brought them to their knees.”



Notes to editors:

• The latest CBI Distribution Trades Survey: ‘Beast from the East’ brings added chill for retailers, can be found here.

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Simon Wilson, KPMG Corporate Communications

T: 020 7 311 6651 

M:  077853 73397 


KPMG Press Office: +44 (0)207 694 8773

About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 14,500 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.2 billion in the year ended 30 September 2017. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 152 countries and has 189,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity.  Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

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