Retail sales fall as inflation hits consumers

15 Jul 2022

UK retail sales are declining at a pace not seen since the worst months of the pandemic, according to the latest data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Analysis from the BRC shows sales decreased by 1% last month, compared to an increase of 10.4% in June 2021.

UK households are facing the tightest squeeze since the 1970s after inflation hit a 40-year high of 9.1% in May, with food and drink prices up 8.6%.

Discretionary purchases were hit hard, especially white goods and homeware, according to the research, while consumers also traded down to cheaper brands in food and non-food alike.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the BRC, said: 'Sales volumes are falling to a rate not seen since the depths of the pandemic, as inflation continues to bite and households cut back spending.

'While the jubilee weekend gave food sales a temporary boost and fashion sales benefited from the summer holiday and wedding season, this was not enough to counter the substantial slowdown in consumer spending.'

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