The UK retail sales volume declined for the sixth consecutive month in October and retailers’ stock levels in relation to expected sales reached a record high, the latest Distributive Trends Survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed Monday.
The retail sales balance fell to -10 percent in October. Retailers expect sales volume to rise marginally next month with a balance of 1 percent forecasting sales growth.
Sales decreased for the sixth straight month, which was the longest period of decline since the financial crisis.
The sector is struggling with ongoing digital disruption, layered on top of cost pressures from a weak pound and the cumulative burden of an outdated business rates regime, Rain Newton-Smith, CBI chief economist, said.
“Retailers have also had to contend with the looming Brexit deadline, which has partly driven a record spike in stocks,” the economist added.
“The timing could not be worse: the run-up to Christmas is a crucial time of year for the retail sector, and not knowing where we will be on November 1st is adding more strain to an already beleaguered sector,” Newton-Smith said.
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