Our website uses cookies

Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how visitors use our website. By browsing Retail Design World, you agree to our use of cookies.

Okay, I understand Learn more

UK retail sales took tumble in May says BRC monitor

UK retail sales fell by 2.7 per cent in May compared to the same period last year, with like-for-like sales down by 3 per cent, according to the latest figures from the BRC KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

“With the biggest decline in retail sales on record, the risk of further job losses and store closures will only increase. While May 2018 offered almost unbroken sunshine, topped off by the run up to the World Cup and the marriage of Meghan and Harry, May 2019 delivered political and economic uncertainty. Food sales dropped for the first time since June 2016, with further declines in clothing, footwear and outdoor goods,” says BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson OBE.

“With retail conditions the toughest they have been for a decade, politicians must act to support the successful reinvention of our high streets and local communities. Business rates remain a barrier, preventing many retailers from investing in their physical space. We have a broken tax system, which sees retailers paying vast sums of money regardless of whether they make a penny at the till, and yet the Government is failing to act. The legislation is falling behind the technological revolution,” adds Dickinson.

“April may have provided retailers with some light reprieve thanks to Easter, but May’s staggering fall of 3% like-for-like is a stark reminder of the industry’s ongoing issues, which for many require urgent attention,” says KPMG UK retail partner Paul Martin.  

“We are of course comparing this month’s growth against a stellar May in 2018, but even the 3-month average - which softens the monthly volatility - demonstrates that achieving growth in retail remains a real struggle… The extremely low growth online is real cause for concern, especially with almost a third of all non-food sales today being made online. This trend has continued to manifest itself over the last year and requires real focus from the retail community.”

What’s Hot on Retail Design World?