Retail sales dipped in September as constrained consumer spending drove the industry’s poorest performance in five months.
Revenues slipped 0.2% on a like-for-like basis last month, according to the latest BRC-KPMG data, as the sector suffered from what they dubbed a “summer hangover”.
Sales did increase on a total basis, rising 0.7% year on year. However, that marked the lowest rate of growth since last October, excluding Easter distortions.
Online sales of non-food products climbed 5.4% during the five weeks to September 29. But that also marked the slowest rate of growth since January and came in below the three-month average of 6.7%.
Ecommerce penetration increased from 22.7% to 24.2% during the month.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said the sales figures laid bare “the difficult operating environment for the retail industry” and reiterated her call for the Government to address the tax system.
Dickinson said taxes were “skewed” towards “people and property”, a fact that was “contributing to store closures and job losses” and “stalling” the reinvention of British high streets.
KPMG’s UK head of retail Paul Martin added: “Grocery continued to perform, but growth in the category retreated in September. The non-food categories, however, continued to disappoint. The historically reliable back-to-school push did not elevate apparel sales.”