UK retail sales drop alongside online shopping

Oct 10, 2019
Author: Pete Wilmer
Pete leads the Corporate Finance offering at Hawsons, Pete specialises in advising business acquisitions and disposals, raising finance, business valuations and employee ownership trusts (EOT).

Even though shoppers bought less online in July, British retail sales surprisingly dropped in August.  Whilst official figures have shown that Amazon’s annual promotion in July had encouraged people to spend more, figures indicate that the main two reasons why consumer spending reduced overall was because of the decrease in the value of sterling over the summer and the uncertainly over a no deal Brexit.

In August 2019, non-store retailing saw its largest month-on-month decrease since August 2015 (decrease of 3.2% from July 2019), albeit non-store retailing sales increased 7.6% in the previous month.  

Analysis of the three months up to August as a whole show’s sale rose by 3.3%, whilst annually, overall sales look like they will be similar to last year.

“No cause for alarm,” economist Samuel Tombs of Pantheon Macroeconomics said in response, “The modest fall in retail sales volumes does not change the overall picture of solid momentum in household spending.”

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Pete Wilmer

Pete Wilmer

Senior Partner