UK retail sales saw their smallest increase in October for nearly a year, with online non-food suffering the biggest decline, according to the report I read from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG.
Retail sales displayed a 0.1% drop on a like-for-like basis compared to the same period last year, when they slipped by 0.6%. Overall, sales picked up 1.1% over the past 12 months through October, the report finds.
E-commerce also lost some momentum in the period and failed to impress, joining the overall downward trend in the sector which was recorded in all categories.
During the first week of October, sales of clothes and footwear enjoyed a double-digit upturn on a like-for-like basis before losing steam in the second half of the month, David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, noted. The strong start and the favourable trend seen in September, as well as the positive economic figures released during the month all pointed to a bumper growth in retail sales that eventually “fizzed out with a whimper”, he added.
The disappointing developments in the retail industry come after a promising recovery in the sector during the previous month, which, however, proved to be more like a false dawn, BRC’s director general Stephen Robertson, commented. The unfavourable trend in retail sales once again proves that the tough economic situation is still an issue for a large number of sector players. People are still wary of spending money on major items and continue to manage their budgets carefully, which is evident from the decreasing consumer confidence.