UK retail sales down in August

Retail sales volumes in the UK declined by 1.6 per cent last month, according to the latest figures from ONS.

The data shows the continuation of a downward trend recorded since summer 2021, following the lifting of restrictions on hospitality.

The rising cost-of-living is also impacting sales volumes.

For the first time since July 2021, food stores, non-food stores, and non-store retailing (predominantly online stores) saw sales decline.

Non-food stores sales volumes were down 1.9 per cent.

While online retail sales decreased by 2.6 per cent last month, sales volumes were still 24 per cent above their February 2020 levels.

Food store sales volumes fell by just under one per cent, 1.4 per cent below their pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) levels.

The figures come as research shows that UK spending on own-label lines was £393 million higher in the past four weeks.

According to figures published by Kantar, own-brand items now make up 51 per cent of the market.

Retails have been warning of lower sales and profits as a result of rising inflation.

John Lewis announced a £99 million loss this week, saying that while it had gained more customers across the partnership over the past six months, they are spending less.

Online grocery retailer Ocado also recorded a hike in customer orders over the past three months, but said consumers are shopping smaller baskets and seeking value-for-money items as they respond record inflation.

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