British Retail Consortium (BRC) has revealed that shoppers are being a lot more reluctant to spend in the lead up to Christmas this year.
The company’s retail sales monitor saw that retail sales only grew by 0.7% last month (November), making it the weakest month for growth since May.
The BRC have suggested that one major reason why this could have happened is due to the mild weather that we have seen across the UK, which will have affected sales of items such as winter clothing and footwear.
Sales of non-food items online, by mail order and telephone have grown by 8.6% compared to the same month last year. But again, this is still the weakest growth since March.
Food sales growth has remained almost the same as this October’s five-month low, with most of the demand being seen coming from premium lines and ready meals. This has been put down to consumers wanting to save money by eating at home rather than eating out on a regular basis.
Shockingly, even the sales of products in the toiletries and cosmetics niche have also seen a fall for the first time in two years. This, again, has been put down to this winter’s milder weather, meaning less people are looking for cough and cold remedies and winter skincare products.
Director General of BRC, Stephen Robertson, has offered his comments on these low sales figures saying “Consumers are not quite in the Christmas mindset yet, although stores are working to generate much-needed sales with high levels of festive discounting,
“Retailers hope that customers who’ve managed their finances carefully in recent months will still treat themselves and their families in December, unhampered by the severe weather which disrupted shopping 12 months ago.”
This information has made some experts fear that the UK’s economy may be heading back towards the recession that gripped the country over the last few years.
This may see many companies losing profits over the festive period, with a number of pre-Christmas profits warning and weak trading statements being issued by retailers in the last few weeks.
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