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October retail sales impacted by record decline in non-food sales

New figures have revealed that UK retail sales fell by 1% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis in October as non-food sales slumped.


October retail sales impacted by record decline in non-food sales

The figures from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG in their monthly sales monitor show that total sales rose by 0.2% in the period.

The BRC said the like-for-like decline was driven by the worst performance in non-food sales since its records began in January 2011, as consumers appeared to prefer outdoor experiences and excursions during half term over visits to the shops.

Over the three months to October, non-food retail sales edged down 0.4% on a like-for-like basis and increased by 0.1% on a total basis. Furthermore, in-store sales of non-food items declined by 2.2% on a total basis and by 2.9% on a like-for-like basis.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “It was a meagre month in October for retail sales as shopping activity slumped. With total growth at its lowest since May and below the 12-month average, retailers will have cause for concern as they prepare for the crucial run up to Christmas.”

Meanwhile, food sales increased by 2.4% on a like-for-like basis and by 3.7% on a total basis over the three month period. 

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD, said: “Food and grocery sales have remained buoyant with another month of above inflation growth, perhaps benefiting from cutbacks elsewhere in household spending. However, with 77% of shoppers expressing concern about the state of the economy and 79% about living costs, a mood of caution prevails. A fifth say they will focus more on saving money in their food and grocery shopping in the year ahead – the record highest level since September 2016.”



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