Consumers in the UK cut down on their spending last month as the cost of living rose, but fashion continued to outperform other categories as Brits geared up for summer social events, new data shows.
Overall sales dropped by 0.3 percent year-over-year in April, the first decline in the past 15 months, according to the latest BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor.
Like-for-like retail sales were down by 1.7 percent.
However, on a three-year basis, retail sales were up 3.9 percent in April compared with the same month in 2019, prior to the pandemic.
“The rising cost of living has crushed consumer confidence and put the brakes on consumer spending,” said Helen Dickinson, the chief executive of the British Retail Consortium.
“Sales growth has been slowing since January, though the real extent of this decline has been masked by rising inflation,” she said.
Rebound in occasionwear
The data showed that big ticket items were hardest hit in April, as consumers cut their spending on furniture, electricals and other homeware. This was further compounded by delays on goods coming from…