Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

'Record decline' in non-food retail sales in October

Like-for-like retail sales across the UK dropped by 1% year on year in October, and non-food showed its worst performance since the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG began its monitor in January 2011.

High Street

Total retail sales edged up 0.2% in October compared with the same month last year, the BRC KPMG Retail Sales Monitor indicates. This is the lowest growth since May.

Over the three months to 31 October, in-store sales of non-food items declined 2.2% on a total basis and 2.9% on a like-for-like basis. In the 12 months to the end of October the total decline was 2.1%, the deepest since records began in January 2012.

Online sales of non-food products grew 4% in October, below both the three-month and 12-month averages of 8.7% and 8.3% respectively. Online, it was the lowest growth since records began in December 2012.

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.

“The decline was driven by poor performance of non-food sales, as consumers appear to have opted for outdoor experiences and excursions during half term, over visits to the shops.”

Paul Martin, head of retail at KPMG, added: “October marked yet another reversal of fortunes for retailers, reinforcing just how volatile consumer spend has been. These figures will be a real disappointment and not the start to the golden quarter retailers had hoped for.

“Clothing sales were hit particularly hard. After a brief uptick, fashion sales reverted back to the dreary theme we have seen for a number of months this year. Unseasonably warm weather last month will not have helped, but this is unlikely to be the only reason the new ranges are proving unpopular.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.