Retailers’ sales by volume are below expectations in December while growth is expected to slow next month, according to the latest CBI survey.
Around four in ten businesses (43%) said sales volumes were up on December last year, but a quarter reported sales were down. The balance of 19% is an increase on November, but below expectations, the CBI said.
Retail Week reported last week that the disruption of Black Friday, mild weather and the Paris terrorist attacks have combined to create a “slower build” to spending as Christmas approaches.
Only 22% of retailers expect volumes to increase in January, according to the CBI, which is the lowest prediction since May 2012.
Barry Williams, CBI distributive trades chairman and Asda’s chief customer officer, said: “It’s no surprise sales have recovered as we head into the final shopping days of the Christmas season.
“It would be ideal if the industry could keep that momentum into the New Year but retailers know 2015 was tough, and they’re expecting 2016 to start in much the same vein.”