Retail Sales Figures Show Weakest Growth Since April 2018

Written by: Keith Tully

Published: 14th November 2019

Woman holding shopping bags in the high streetA relative slump in performance during October has seen retail sales growth slow to its most sluggish pace since April 2018.

That’s according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which show that overall sales across the retail sector increased by just 0.2 per cent in the three months to October, as compared to the previous quarter.

Those numbers represent the slowest sales growth rate seen in 18 months and are being taken as another indication that operators within the UK’s retail sector are currently faced with consistently tough trading conditions.

Several well-known high street retail companies have entered administration in recent days, including the baby and maternity products firm Mothercare, which is to close all of its 79 UK stores and shed close to 3,000 jobs over the next few months.

Meanwhile, Mamas & Papas, another maternity and babywear retailer, recently entered a pre-pack administration deal in order to close some of its stores and in an effort to gain a stronger financial footing.

According to the ONS, the number of items bought from retailers across the country fell by 0.1 per cent during October as compared with the numbers for September.

Economists had been expecting to see October’s sales up by around 3.7 per cent compared to the same month of 2018 but the increase actually came in at a considerably lower level of 3.1 per cent.

“These latest ONS figures are symptomatic of the challenges facing the retail sector after a year fraught with uncertainty,” said Lynda Petherick, head of retail at the management consultancy firm Accenture.

A recurring theme among struggling British retailers and their industry representatives in recent months has been calls for action to be taken to reform the business rates regime currently in place.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) also recently called for steps to be taken to improve the apprenticeship framework in ways that help retailers and their employees throughout the country.

“Fixing the broken business rates system and reforming the Apprenticeship Levy would help unlock the necessary investment into skills, stores and online necessary to allow retail to thrive,” said Helen Dickinson, the BRC’s chief executive, in a statement this week.

Keith Tully

Keith Tully

Join Keith Tully on Linked In Follow Keith Tully on Twitter

Keith has been involved in Business Rescue since 1992, during which time he’s worked for both independent and national firms. His specialties include company restructuring matters and negotiating with HMRC on his clients behalf.

Meet our Team of Experts
Director Support - Business suffering from Cash-Flow Problems?
If your company is financially distressed, we also offer the below services:
Business debt recovery

  • Recover Unpaid Invoices of £5k+
  • Expert Credit Control Services
  • Stop Late Payers & Bad Debts
Visit Site
Time to pay experts

  • Get Breathing Space with HMRC
  • Support with Business Tax Arrears
  • 35 Years HMRC Negotiation
Visit Site
UK Business Finance

  • Rejected for a CBILS Loan?
  • Get Emergency Business Funding
  • Supporting 1000+ UK Companies
Visit Site
Who we help
  • Company Directors
  • Finance Directors
  • Sole Traders
  • Accountants
  • Small Businesses
  • Large Businesses
  • Partnerships
Contact our team
Jonathan Munnery
Gillian Sayburn
Julie Palmer
or Find your Nearest Office

Here at Real Business Rescue we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to contact you with regards to your enquiry. We will not use your information for marketing purposes. See PRIVACY POLICY

Business Rescue Advice for Directors
Free Guide for Limited Company Directors
Business Rescue Advice for Directors
  • How to manage company cash flow problems
  • Advice on dealing with HMRC
  • Understanding rescue and closure options
  • And much more...
Free Guide Download
Dealing with your Insolvent Clients
Business Rescue Guide for Accountants
Dealing with your Insolvent Clients
  • Helping you advise insolvent clients
  • Spotting signs of client distress
  • Exploring business rescue options
  • And much more...
Free Guide Download
Our numbers speak for themselves
Number of UK Offices
Directors Helped
Licensed Insolvency Practitioners

This site uses cookies to monitor site performance and provide a more responsive and personalised experience. You must agree to our use of certain cookies. For more information on how we use and manage cookies please read our PRIVACY POLICY