High street sales slump in May

A retail sales fall of 2.1% in May reflected the “tough conditions” on the High Street, according to a new survey released today.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said rises seen in the previous two months had been “distorted” by a late Easter, an extra bank holiday and good weather.

Shoppers bought fewer items across the board, with sales of clothing, footwear and big ticket items all falling.

Stephen Robertson, the BRC’s director general, said: “These are poor figures. What we’ve seen here is food has been reasonably resilient but non-food has had a dreadful May,” said Stephen Robertson, the BRC’s director general.

“I guess people are saying ‘we can put it off for another day before we buy a sofa or bed or other big items’.”

“After two previous months distorted by the later Easter and extra bank holiday, this is a more realistic reflection of how tough conditions on the High Street really are.”

Robertson added: “Customers’ fundamental reluctance to spend is now clear to see.”

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