British retail's 'great success story'

The director general of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), Helen Dickinson, has told a conference of senior figures from the retail sector that the industry is a 'great British success story' as it has survived, and thrived, through a difficult period.

Dickinson said that retailers have managed to survive a prolonged economic downturn that has left consumers with less money to spend, whilst continuing to offer 'quality products at reasonable prices'.

The BRC's director general also said that British retailers have benefited from 'embracing the game-changing digital revolution' faster than other countries. Online sales in May accounted for 9.7 per cent of all sales, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Speaking at the BRC's annual one-day Retail Symposium, Dickinson said:

"We are growing our business and our reputation internationally thanks to Brand Britain, thanks to the very high quality of our products and our excellent customer services... and thanks also to our world leading expertise in adopting digital as a way of doing business."

Last week, the ONS figures showed that the volume and value of retail sales in May both increased by 2.1 per cent compared with April.