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Industry News August retail sales growth supports consumer optimism

Published on October 13th, 2019 | by The GC Team

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Retail sales experience worst September since records began

September proved to be another difficult month for retailers, with like-for-like sales declining year on year, and online non-food sales recording the lowest growth on record.

According to the British Retail Consortium, sales fell 1.7% from September 2018 (1.3% on a total basis) – the worst September since 1995, when the organisation’s records began.

Online non-food sales grew by just 0.7% per cent, but nonetheless compared favourably to growth in the physical store sector. In-store sales of non-food items fell 3.2% on both a total and like-for-like basis, dropping below the 12-month total average decline of 2.9%.

“Unsurprisingly, September proved to be another difficult month for retailers, with like-for-like sales declining by 1.7% compared to last year,” said Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail at KPMG.

“Ongoing Brexit uncertainty is clearly having a material impact on the consumer psyche, with all but one non-food category being in decline in September. Consumers are choosing to focus on the essentials…

“Retailers’ focus needs to be on cost and efficiency with only the leanest and most efficient operations coping with this extreme test of endurance. October, and the ramping up of Brexit plans, will clearly be a real test for the industry as a whole.”

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