October retail sales the worst in a decade

12 November 2017 - Janet Bird

high street shops

Retail sales in October were the worst in a decade, new data has revealed.

The BDO High Street Sales Tracker showed like for like sales plummeted by 5.2 percent last month. This represents the sharpest year on year fall for October on record.

Even Halloween and Chinese Golden Week failed to lift sales, with fashion sales particularly hard hit by the unseasonably warm weather, falling 7.9 percent. This was fashion retail's worst performance since April 2016 and the worst sales ever recorded for the month of October.

Footfall also suffered, falling each week in October overall, as retailers struggled amid rising inflation and import costs, falling consumer spending and rising borrowing costs after the Bank of England raised interest rates.

Retailers will now be hoping that October's dire sales picture is a result of consumers tightening their belts in preparation for a pre-Christmas spending spree, rather than a longer term change in shopping habits.

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