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Industry News

Published on October 9th, 2018 | by The GC Team

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September sales growth at five-month low

Figures released by the British Retail Consortium show the difficult environment retail is operating in, after a curb in consumer spending resulted in the weakest sales growth for five months.

September retail sales declined by 0.2% on a year-on-year like-for-like basis, against an increase of 1.9% in the preceding year.

Total sales rose 0.7% (the lowest since October 2017) against an increase of 2.3% in September last year.

This is the lowest since October 2017, excluding Easter distortions, and below the 3-month and 12-month averages of 1.2% and 1.3% respectively.

BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson attributed the poor performance partly to high taxation on people and property, stating this is contributing to store closures and job losses and stalling the successful reinvention of our high streets.

“The retail industry pays a disproportionate amount of tax,” she said. “It represents 5% of the economy but pays 10% of business tax and almost 25% of business rates.”

Online sales of non-food products did, however, record growth in September, but at 5.4% it was the lowest since January and well below September 2017’s growth of 10.7%.

The figure was also below the 3-month and 12-month averages of 6.7% and 7.1% respectively.

The online penetration rate, however, continued to increase, up from 22.7% to 24.2%.

Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail at KPMG, said: “The final golden quarter of the year marks the ultimate test for many players, but retailers must also successfully navigate the upcoming government Budget, Black Friday, Christmas and, of course, Brexit.”

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