20 May 2024, 11:04
By Furniture News May 13, 2022

Rising cost of living puts brakes on spending, says BRC-KPMG

Total retail sales decreased by -0.3% in April, against an increase of +51.1% in April 2021, according to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

UK retail sales decreased -1.7% on a LFL basis from April 2021, when they had increased 39.6%.

Over the three months to April, non-food retail sales increased by +1.8% on a LFL basis and +6.9% on a total basis. In-store sales of non-food items grew +59.3% on a total basis and +45.8% on a LFL basis. 

Online, non-food sales decreased by -13.9% during April, compared with growth of +11.3% in April 2021. Meanwhile, the non-food online penetration rate decreased to 38.6% in April from 45.1% in April 2021.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson OBE says: “The rising cost of living has crushed consumer confidence and put the brakes on consumer spending. Sales growth has been slowing since January, though the real extent of this decline has been masked by rising inflation. Big-ticket items have been hit hardest, as consumers reined in spending on furniture, electricals and other homeware – compounded by delays on goods coming from China. Meanwhile, thanks to the April sunshine, garden goods and fashion saw stronger sales, particularly occasionwear as consumers prepared for summer and this year’s wedding season.

“Customers face a difficult year – with the Bank of England predicting inflation to reach more than +10%. Retailers are experiencing higher costs as a result of rising commodity prices, transport costs, labour shortages, delays at ports, and the war in Ukraine. Further headwinds are incoming, such as rising global food prices, which rose +13% between March and April. Retailers will continue to do all they can to mitigate the effects of these costs rises, but unfortunately they cannot absorb them all.”

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