// UK retail sales are declining at a pace not seen since the worst months of the pandemic, according to industry bodies
// Online sales have also continued to dip, with sales down 9% as shoppers returned to stores post-pandemic
Retail sales are falling at a rate “not seen since the depths of the pandemic”, as price rises hit households across the nation, new figures have shown.
Inflation hit 9.1% in May, its highest rate in 40 years, with the increasing cost of food, energy bills and fuel putting pressure on households’ finances.
The volume of retail sales declined for the third consecutive month in June, falling at an annual rate of 1%, according to figures compiled by KPMG and the British Retail Consortium.
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- Retail sales drop as Brits spend less in supermarkets, says ONS
- UK retail sales continue to slump as UK households cut spending
British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson said sales volumes “are falling to a rate not seen since the depths of the pandemic, as inflation continues to bite and households cut back spending”.
“Discretionary purchases were hit hard, especially white goods and homeware, while consumers also traded down to cheaper brands in food and non-food alike,” Dickinson explained.
Despite the Platinum Jubilee boosting footfall at the beginning of last month, it was “not enough to counter the substantial slowdown in consumer spending,” Dickinson said.
Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, said people were cutting back on spending “against a backdrop of unprecedented price rises on the High Street”.
He said online shopping had continued to drop, with total sales down 9%. The biggest falls have been for purchases of furniture, home appliances and computing.