Jan 10, 2019

Retailers endure worst Christmas since 2008

Britain's retailers suffered their worst Christmas trading since the depths of the global financial crisis, with even heavy price cutting failing to persuade worried customers to splash out, according to data and a slew of trading updates. The retail sales monitor compiled by KPMG with the British Retail Consortium estimated that sales were flat in December against an increase of 1.4 per cent in the same month the year before, the worst performance in December since 2008. "Squeezed consumers chose not to splash out this Christmas with retail sales growth stalling for the first time in 28 months," said Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive. Paul Martin, head of UK retail at KPMG, said that "Desperate" attempts to generate sales through discounting were "Seemingly not enough to encourage shoppers". The BRC does not reveal which retailers contribute to its figures, but analysts believe they broadly reflect the composition of the lobby group's membership - implying a degree of bias towards low-growth high street operators.

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