British retail sales hit five month slump, new research declares

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NextConsumer spending in Britain fell last month according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the accountancy firm KPMG, growth in total sales dropped to the weakest level in almost a year.

The research found that total sales grew at an annual rate of 0.7% in September, compared with 2.3% growth during the same month a year ago, in what the BRC has reported being the lowest growth rate since October 2017.

It’s been a hard time for retailers across Britain recently with store closures and job cuts among some of the big high street names such as John Lewis and House of Fraser. Also take into account the impact that online shopping has had on the British high street, which offer many items much less than its bricks and mortar competition.

The BRC’s like-for-like retail sales measure shows the performance of the UK retail sector based on actual sales from participating companies. The latest figures show that in September the retail market saw a 0.2% fall.

Analysis: Andy Soloman, CEO and Business Growth Expert at Yomdel

The performance of the retail sector has been slowly subsiding since June as consumers move away from the season of summer spending and reign in the purse strings in anticipation of the festive season.

A Christmas spike in retail activity will be warmly welcomed by the sector, but until then there are still some tough months ahead for both consumer and retailer alike as demonstrated by the weakest sales performance in five months. Stretched household income continues to put a strain on consumer sentiment while retailers struggle to balance the inflated cost of goods with remaining competitive on price.

A no deal Brexit may cause problems further down the line due to complications with the import and export of goods, but in the short-term, we should see a more muted level of spending as uncertainty continues to deter consumers from any unnecessary financial outgoings.

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