The high street has received a surprise boost after official figures revealed an increase in retail sales last month. According to the Office for National Statistics, total sales volumes rose 0.3 per cent last month compared with a drop of 1.9 per cent in February. Food stores saw a 0.6 per cent increase in their number of sales, while textiles, clothing and footwear stores witnessed the biggest jump amongst non-food stores at 1.5 per cent. The largest fall was a two per cent drop recorded in household goods outlets. "With the late Easter break and unseasonably warm weather, retailers are cautiously optimistic that April sales will also offer a welcome increase on last year's weak levels," said Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays Commercial Bank. "Operating tighter stock controlling techniques will enable retailers to preserve their cash flow, with the more successful retailers commanding greater control over their business operations than ever before."
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