“The risk of further job losses and store closures will only increase,” warned Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), after reporting U.K. retail sales declined by the most on record in May, with sluggish growth in online sales and Brexit-related uncertainty taking a toll.
Bloomberg reports that total sales fell by 2.7%, the biggest drop since at least 1995 when excluding any distortions caused by the timing of Easter.
While some of the drop can be accounted for by comparing to last year — when sales were boosted by sunshine, the World Cup and a royal wedding — political and economic uncertainty played a significant role, the British Retail Consortium and KPMG said.
On a like-for-like basis, sales decreased by 3% from a year earlier, and online sales of products apart from food grew just 1.5%, an all-time low, the BRC reported.
Of course, economic uncertainty over Brexit is blamed (along with political uncertainty) by BRC but comparisons to last year may be distorted further by the fact that 2018’s sales were boosted by sunshine, the World Cup and a royal wedding.
So while Corbyn and the conservatives continue to battle (with Farage adding his own flavor to the mix), and the central bank backing away from discussions of rate-hikes (to temper any no-deal Brexit-fueled inflation), the nation’s core is collapsing.
Finally, we return full circle to BRC boss Helen Dickinson what is needed…
“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.”
More government intervention of course!! One wonders whether hard, soft, or no Brexit would make any difference now…