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Retail sales cool in September

Nov 5, 2018 | Retail

Kevin Whitlock

Total UK retail sales grew by 0.7% last month, compared with 2.3% growth during September 2017. These are the lowest growth figures for a year.

The figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and accountant KPMG revealed that excluding new store openings, like-for-like sales dropped by 0.2% in the year to September, compared with a 19.9% increase for the same period a year ago.

Over the three months to September, food sales increased 2.3% on a like-for-like basis and 3.4% on a total basis, this is below the 12-month average growth of 3.7%.

Helen Dickinson, BRC CEO, said: “These figures lay bare the difficult operating environment for the retail industry. After a challenging August, constrained consumer spending in September has resulted in the weakest sales growth for five months.”

Jon Woolven, strategy and innovation director at the IGD, added: “The September food and grocery figures cemented the trend in late August for volumes to fall versus 2017, although with some inflation in the mix, sales value remained modestly in growth.

“Shopper confidence has followed a downward path with those expecting to be financially better off over the year ahead dipping from 26% in July to 22% in September. Brexit related uncertainty probably plays a part in this, so retailers will be hoping for a clear resolution ahead of the Christmas shopping season.”

Tags: Retail

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