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Industry News

Published on June 4th, 2019 | by The GC Team

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A grey day for retail sales

Retail sales fell 3% on a like-for-like basis in May, delivering “a stark reminder of the industry’s ongoing issues”.

Total sales during the period dropped by 2.7%.

The three-month averages show the total non-food sector declining by 1.1% and in-store non-food sales falling 2.7%.

The slowdown in overall non-food sales was mirrored online in May. Annual growth fell to its lowest on record as consumers held back on non-essential purchases. Sales for the month were up 1.5%.

Paul Martin, UK Retail Partner at KPMG, said: “The extremely low growth online is real cause for concern, especially with almost a third of all non-food sales today being made online. This trend has continued to manifest itself over the last year and requires real focus from the retail community.”

BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson commented on the overall downturn during the month: “While May 2018 offered almost unbroken sunshine, topped off by the run up to the World Cup and the marriage of Meghan and Harry, May 2019 delivered political and economic uncertainty.

“With the biggest decline in retail sales on record, the risk of further job losses and store closures will only increase.”

“April may have provided retailers with some light reprieve thanks to Easter,” added KPMG’s Martin, “but May’s staggering fall of 3% like-for-like is a stark reminder of the industry’s ongoing issues, which for many require urgent attention.”

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