Retailers hit as spending drops to its lowest level in a year, and Christmas may not be the saviour

Consumers In The Christmas Eve Retail Rush
While the high street was hard hit, online retailers grew in September (Source: Getty)

UK retail sales grew by their lowest rate for almost a year in September, new figures show.

An analysis from KPMG and the British Retail Consortium found like-for-like retail sales were down 0.2 per cent, while total sales increased 0.7 per cent.

This is far below the 1.3 per cent average over the past 12 months.

Non-food sales were hard hit, declining 2.7 per cent, in line with the yearly average.

The category fared better online, growing 5.4 per cent compared to September last year, yet growth slowed from last year.

And supermarkets have something to cheer about, as spending on food grew 3.4 per cent.

"These figures lay bare the difficult operating environment for the retail industry.

“After a challenging August, constrained consumer spending in September has resulted in the weakest sales growth for five months,” said Helen Dickinson, head of the British Retail Consortium.

However, research from Barclaycard found just under half of UK adults plan to spend less this Christmas than last year after a bumper summer spend.

Esme Harwood, director at Barclaycard said: “Looking ahead, a more cautious approach looks set to continue into the Christmas period as consumers remain conscious of the wider economic trends.

“With this in mind, it’s clear that shoppers will seek out value for money purchases – whether that’s everyday essentials or those discretionary or ‘nice to have’ items.”

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