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Published on October 13th, 2021 | by The GC Team

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Retail sales recovery stalls

September recorded the slowest retail sales growth since January when the UK was in lockdown which, according to the BRC, was the result of consumer confidence being hit by the combination of fuel shortages and wetter weather in the second half of the month.

On a Total basis, sales increased by 0.6%, against growth of 5.6% in September 2020. This is below the 3-month average growth of 3.1% and the 12-month average of 9.8%.

Like-for-like sales decreased 0.6% compared to a 6.1% increase in September 2020.

Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium Helen Dickinson said the biggest effect was seen in large purchases such as furniture and homeware.

According to retail intelligence firm Springboard, September is usually a month in which store footfall levels off or declines from the year before, but Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, said it is traditionally a strong period for UK retailing as it is “back-to-school” month.  

“Fuel panic-buying bought into sharp focus the impact supply chain bottlenecks and labour shortages can quickly have for consumers,” he said.

“As we run into the crucial Christmas shopping period, retailers continue to face staffing pressures and supply chain issues, with challenges getting product into the UK and getting goods in to customers’ hands. This may feed into limited availability of certain products and the spectre of price rises remains…

“The energy crisis is set to have further impact on inflation levels, putting pressure on household spending, and retailers will be hoping for some good news from the Chancellor in his Budget to help them manage rising costs.”

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