Retail sales see biggest drop in 3 years

Retail figures for November show the sharpest drop for three years, falling by 2.6 per cent, suggesting a bleak Christmas for the high street.


Retail figures for November show the sharpest drop for three years, falling by 2.6 per cent, suggesting a bleak Christmas for the high street.

Retail figures for November show the sharpest drop for three years, falling by 2.6 per cent, suggesting a bleak Christmas for the high street.

Figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show last month’s sales values followed October’s, falling compared to last year.

Clothing, footwear and furniture dropped below 2007’s levels despite heavy discounting in stores.

The 2.6 per cent fall is the sharpest since April 2005, when results were reduced due to the timing of Easter.

Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, says: ‘Retailers will be hoping that customers have been putting off Christmas shopping – not cancelling it. The numbers speak for themselves – these are clearly tough times.’

October saw a drop of 0.1 per cent, leading to the first fall for two consecutive months since the survey started in January 1995.

Food and drink were the only sectors to report a rise in sales compared to this time last year.

Recent research from ComScore found that online spending is also being hit by the credit crunch, with traffic to retail sites dropping by ten per cent compared to last year.

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