Sales in the grocery sector have risen at the fastest rate in three years, amid the weakest year for retail on record.
New data from the British Retail Consortium-KPMG survey indicate that in the three months to September grocery sales rocketed by three times the yearly average at 1.6 per cent.
The hottest September since 1910 is attributed to the success of grocery sales, along with a continual price war between the country’s biggest players attempting to compete with newcomers Aldi and Lidl on price.
Although this will be welcome news for the struggling grocery market, the warm weather had an adverse effect on fashion retail, stumping the sales of autumn ranges.
Non-food grew by just over a third of the yearly average at 0.5 per cent in the same period.
The bigger picture continues this theme with total UK retail sales growing just one per cent, inching ahead of this year’s average of 0.9 per cent. This makes the last 12 months’ growth the weakest since the survey began.
According to the GfK consumer confidence index, September saw a return to pre-Brexit levels of confidence. It is unclear whether this will continue amid the declining sales in the retail industry and the sterling continuing to suffer.
Yesterday the BRC announced it would work with the government to achieve a “good Brexit” and avoid a catastrophic fallout of rising prices for retailers.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “Against the current backdrop of intense competition and transformational change in the industry, it’s crucial that retailers are able to continue their excellent track record of keeping prices low for their customers and offering great choice and value.
“With that in mind the BRC will be ensuring that in the forthcoming Brexit talks, Government negotiators have their sights set firmly on lowering import costs as well as avoiding any increase in tariff costs as the UK leaves the EU.”