UK retailers lose sparkle over Christmas

January 9, 2018 | By | Reply More

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UK-retailers-lose-sparkle-over-ChristmasLONDON: British retailers faced a slowdown in sales over the crucial Christmas trading period, survey data showed Tuesday, as shoppers were squeezed by higher prices and stagnating wages.

Retail sales rose 1.4% last month from a year earlier, according to a survey from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and financial group KPMG.

That compared with 1.7% expansion in December 2016.

“With inflation outpacing income growth, shoppers continued to see more of their spending power absorbed by essential items, including food, leaving less left over for buying Christmas gifts,” said BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson.

“That made this year’s festive period all the more nail-biting for non-food retailers, many of whom offered deep discounts in the last weeks before Christmas in the hope of something to celebrate.”

Publication of the BRC survey comes as Britain’s retailers reveal their Christmas trading figures.

Department store Debenhams issued a profits warning last week on poor festive sales, sending its share price tumbling.

However, clothing retailer Next reported rising Christmas sales on the back of a strong online performance.

Britain’s biggest retailer, supermarket giant Tesco, and food-to-clothing chain Marks & Spencer publish their Christmas trading figures on Thursday.



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