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Retail

Post-Summer 'Hangover' Evident In UK Retail: BRC

The British Retail Consortium has said that UK retail sales decreased 0.2% on a like-for-like basis in September, as a 'post-summer hangover' impacted the trade, however food sales held up well.

In the three month period to September, food sales increased 2.3% on a like-for-like basis, and 3.4% on a total basis, the BRC said. This is below the 12-month total average growth of 3.7%.

Over the same three month period, non-food retail sakes in the UK decreased 1.6% on a like-for-like basis and 0.6% on a total basis. This is in line with the 12-month total average decrease of 0.5% for non-food, the BRC said.

Challenging Environment

"These figures lay bare the difficult operating environment for the retail industry," commented Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium. "After a challenging August, constrained consumer spending in September has resulted in the weakest sales growth for five months.

"The retail industry pays a disproportionate amount of tax. It represents 5% of the economy but pays 10% of business tax and almost 25% of business rates. A tax system skewed towards high taxes on people and property is contributing to stores closures and job losses and is stalling the successful reinvention of our high streets.

"Taxes apply to all businesses, so the answer is not additional taxes solely on the retail industry. The Government urgently needs to reduce the business rates burden and create a tax system fit for the 21st century that more fairly distributes taxes right across the economy."

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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