Non-food retail sales in the UK fell 1.2% in the three months to October, with clothing and footwear sales declining in particular according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Media reported based on BRC data that over the three months to October, non-food retail sales decreased by 1.2% on a total basis and 1.8% on a like-for-like basis in the UK.
This is below the 12-month total average growth of 3.7%. For the month of October, non-food was in decline year-on-year.
Moreover, over the three months to October, in-store sales of non-food items increased by 1.3% on a total basis and 0.4% on a like-for-like basis since October 2021. This is below the 12-month growth of 32.5%.
Online non-food sales decreased by 6.3% in October, against a decline of 8.0% in October 2021. This is below the three-month average decline of 4.8% and above the 12-month decline of 13.6%.
The non-food online penetration rate decreased to 39.9% in October from 42.0% at the same point last year.
The BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson has warned for many, Christmas will be more gloomy than glitter as families focus on making ends meet with mortgage payment rises, and retail could be set for a bumpy ride ahead as a result.
Dickinson said: “As the cost of living for consumers continued to rise, retail sales slowed in October. With November Black Friday sales just around the corner, many people look to be delaying spending, particularly on bigger purchases.”
She also said that clothing and footwear, which saw stronger sales this year, declined as the mild weather meant customers held back on buying winter outfits. Meanwhile, electric blankets, air fryers, and other energy-efficient appliances continued to fly off the shelves as people sought future cost savings.
“Christmas will come later than last year for many and maybe more gloom than glitter as families focus on making ends meet, particularly as mortgage payments rise. Retailers hope the World Cup and Black Friday, will give sales a much-needed boost ahead of Christmas,” she added.