Retail sales slip in October
New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown that retail sales volumes edged down 0.3% in October following a drop of 1.1% in September.
This meant that retail sales volumes were at their lowest level since February 2021 when Covid-19 restrictions were in place across the UK.
Food stores sales volumes fell by 0.3% in the month due to consumers buying cheaper items as the cost of living continues to bite.
Meanwhile, non-food stores sales volumes slipped by 0.2% after trading was hit by the cost of living, reduced footfall, and wet weather.
However, the figures also show that online sales returned to growth in October with a small increase of 0.8% after a decline of 2.4% in September.
Commenting on the figures, Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “With consumer confidence weakening due to higher mortgage and rental costs, sales growth in October slowed.
“More expensive purchases, such as laptops and electrical appliances continued to not perform well and Christmas spend took off to a slower start as households held out for Black Friday bargains.
“Meanwhile, cosmetics and toiletries had another strong month, due to the “Lipstick Effect”- where the high cost of living meant people spent more on smaller indulgences.”
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