BRC calls for politicians to support reinvention of our high streets
Total retail sales were down 2.7%, the largest decline on record, according to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.
Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, BRC:
'With the biggest decline in retail sales on record, the risk of further job losses and store closures will only increase. With retail conditions the toughest they have been for a decade, politicians must act to support the successful reinvention of our high streets and local communities. Business rates remain a barrier, preventing many retailers from investing in their physical space. We have a broken tax system, which sees retailers paying vast sums of money regardless of whether they make a penny at the till, and yet the Government is failing to act. The legislation is falling behind the technological revolution.'
Paul Martin, UK Retail Partner, KPMG:
'April may have provided retailers with some light reprieve thanks to Easter, but May’s staggering fall of 3% like-for-like is a stark reminder of the industry’s ongoing issues, which for many require urgent attention.
'We are of course comparing this month’s growth against a stellar May in 2018, but even the 3-month average - which softens the monthly volatility - demonstrates that achieving growth in retail remains a real struggle.
'The bank holiday weekends have given rise to the added interest in furniture and homewares, as shoppers set about making home improvements. The extremely low growth online is real cause for concern, especially with almost a third of all non-food sales today being made online. This trend has continued to manifest itself over the last year and requires real focus from the retail community.'