Posted 15th January

‘Worst Christmas for retail since 2008,’ says BRC

15th January 2019 - 10:21am
money matters, brc, british retail consortium, kpmg, retail, sales, monitor, furniture, non-food, household, appliance, kbb, kbbdaily

The latest British Retail Consortium – BRC – KPMG Retail Sales Monitor has found that total retail sales were flat at 0% in December 2018 compared with an increase of 1.4% the previous year, marking “the worst December performance since 2008”.

On a like-for-like basis, UK retail sales declined by 0.7% in December compared with December 2017, while retail sales of non-food items decreased by 1.2% on a like-for-like basis in the three months to December 2018.

In-store sales of non-food items dropped by 3.9% on a like-for-like basis in the three months to December 2018, while online sales of non-food products grew by 5.8% in December, compared with growth of 7.6% in December 2017. The online penetration rate increased to 31.2%.

“Squeezed consumers chose not to splash out this Christmas with retail sales growth stalling for the first time in 28 months,” said BRC CEO Helen Dickinson. “The worst December sales performance in ten years means a challenging start to 2019 for retailers, with business rates set to rise once again this year, and the threat of a no-deal Brexit looming ever larger.

“The retail landscape is changing dramatically in the UK, while the trading environment remains tough. Retailers are facing up this challenge but are having to wrestle with mounting costs from a succession of government policies – from the Apprenticeship Levy, to higher wage costs, to rising business rates.”

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