Shop visits increase as shoppers hunt for cheapest prices but sales growth lags
Visits to shops have increased as shoppers hunt for the cheapest prices, however this has not translated into sales growth amid the cost of living crisis.
According to data from the British Retail Consortium, UK footfall increased by two percentage points in June, versus the prior month.
Shoppers were hunting for the best deals as inflation has hit 40-year highs.
However, BRC boss Helen Dickinson said volumes were “down significantly in recent months” with footfall uplifts not translating into in-store and online sales.
“Rising inflation, particularly soaring energy costs, is limiting customer spending power and damaging consumer confidence,” she added.
This would be exacerbated in October when the energy price cap faces an increase to £2,800 per year.
This is only set to worsen in October as the energy price cap rises and the colder weather increases usage. With many people struggling, retailers are doing all they can to support their most vulnerable customers – from expanding value ranges to offering discounts to vulnerable groups, raising staff pay and investing in lower prices for the future.”
Data from BDO has also revealed today that retailers saw the lowest like-for-like sales growth in 16 months last month.
Sales increased 8.4 per cent compared to June 2021, with homeware sales dropping 8.8 per cent as shoppers put off buying big-ticket items.
“There are few signs of encouragement for retailers,” BDO’s head of retail and wholesale Sophie Michael said.
Michael added: “The fashion sector has undoubtedly been boosted by consumers refreshing their wardrobes for summer holidays. However, the weak sales growth for online retailers and the negative results for the homewares sector are key indicators that consumers are tightening their purse strings on discretionary spend and in particular on big ticket items.”