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High street sales fall for seventh consecutive month

High street sales fell for the seventh consecutive month in October according to the latest Distributive Trades Survey from the CBI.

Some 50% of retailers said that the volume of sales in the first half of October were down on last year. 23% of retailers said the volume of sales were up.

The balance of -27% matches September's rate of sales falls.

Similarly the CBI said retailers did not expect sales to improve in November, with a balance of 25% expecting sales to fall on last year.

However, there was one bright spot in the results, with footwear and leather sales reporting an increase in sales over the first half of October.

Suppliers continued to be hit by weak demand in the shops. 36% of retailers reported a year-on-year fall in the volume of orders placed with suppliers.

Andy Clarke, chairman of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel and retail director of Asda said: "Shoppers face competing pressures on their wallets and are spooked by worries over job losses and the slowing economy."

"Retailers have had another tough month and, while there are some winners, the majority are suffering. The sector looks set to endure a very challenging run-up to Christmas."

"We are hoping the recent drop in interest rates will cut consumers and business some slack as it feeds through to the wider economy."

Readers' comments (3)

  • Retailers had it 'too good for too long'.
    All retail prices are still way too high, compared with EU and especially with the USA, and should go down further 20%.
    Everybody is talking about 'greedy bankers', but retailers which buy a product for £2 and sell at £19.99 are equally greedy.
    Only when prices are realistic the sales figures will go up.

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  • Interesting you think retailers are greedy, the cost of running 1 or more shops has become horrendous, ever increasing rents,rates,utilities, emptying the bin - staff holidays, staff incentives, staff maternity leave. If there is a downturn in sales you often can't cut back on staff because you can't afford to pay the redundancy. Brochures,websites, bags, Sales and promotions all have to be paid for out of something. Why are we so anti profit in this country???? I have noticed that the companies that make the big margins invest in presentation, marketing and developing their brand stay around a long time and grow.

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  • I see the post below by Savo who once again is talking alot of nonsense!!!! One can only presume Savo you are a failed retailer or have a huge chip on your shoulder after working for a retailer. Have you any idea how to run a business and require a margin in order to keep your head above water in today's retail climate? I think not. Perhaps its time you began living in the real world, are you so niave to think retailers are coining it in?

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