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Saturday 29th of January 2011
November 11, 2008    

UK retail sales fall

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by Kay Murchie

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), UK retail sales have fallen over a 12-month period for the first time in 3½ years.

According to the BRC, like-for-like sales in October were down 2.2%, while total sales were 0.1% lower compared with October last year.

The figures are further proof that the High Street is suffering in the wake of the economic downturn.

It is the first time that total monthly sales had fallen from a year earlier since April 2005 and is the latest indication that the UK is on the brink of recession.

The BRC’s latest monthly Retail Sales Monitor, which is co-compiled by accountancy group KPMG, discovered that the only two sectors to record like-for-like growth in sales last month were food and drink.

Stephen Robertson, the BRC’s director general, said these are seriously poor numbers, particularly in the build-up to Christmas. The poor sales figures are evidence that consumer confidence is at a ‘record low’.

Meanwhile, KPMG’s head of retail, Helen Dickinson, said a decline in the value of total sales is ‘extremely rare’ and retailers will need to heavily discount in order to boost sales during the lead-up to Christmas.

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