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Retail sales down but some 'encouraging' figures

15 April 2014 Last updated at 12:04 BST

The total amount we bought from retailers fell in March, with overall sales down 1.7% for shops open more than a year.

But the British Retail Consortium (BRC) director general Helen Dickinson told the Today programme that the figures, compiled by KPMG and the BRC, were distorted by the fact that Easter is celebrated later in the year during 2014 than it was in 2013, which had an impact on sales.

Ms Dickinson explained that if you take this into consideration, there are some "encouraging" sales figures - particularly in clothing and beauty sectors.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday 15 April.

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