TOP NEWS: June UK Retail Sales Fall At Fastest Pace Since 2009 - CBI

(Alliance News) - UK retail sales fell in June at their fastest rate since the financial crisis ...

Alliance News 25 June, 2019 | 1:19PM
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(Alliance News) - UK retail sales fell in June at their fastest rate since the financial crisis in 2009, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry revealed on Tuesday.

In June, only 16% of the UK retailers consulted by the trade organisation said their sales volumes were up on the year prior. By contrast, 58% said they were down.

This was the biggest retail sales fall since March 2009. It was, the CBI added, "likely impacted by the relatively cooler weather compared with this point last year."

The CBI explained the largest contributor to the fall was amongst the grocers, but hardware and DIY, as well as footwear & leather sub-sectors both reported declines in sales volumes.

Consequently, June saw only 15% of retailers increase orders with suppliers, with 48% reducing their orders.

Despite this, 26% of UK retailers believed that sales volumes were "good" for the time of year. With 45% believing they were "poor" for the time of year.

Internet sales amongst retailers edged just 3% higher on the year prior, following a 38% surge in May. Online sales growth is expected to pick up again to 23% in July, which still will represent a weakening of the 46% growth reported in the long-run average.

Internet sales were the only sub-sector to report volume growth in June within the retailers.

The CBI survey was formed of 88 respondents, of which 45 were retailers.

For wholesalers, sales volumes were reported up on the year prior by 31% of respondents. Nonetheless, 22% reported they were down. Orders to suppliers were cut 10%.

Amongst motor traders, reported sales volumes were higher on the year prior according to 10% of respondents, while 51% reported sales volumes were down.

"This month's drop in sales should be taken with a pinch of salt, given the backdrop of last June's heatwave and the start of the World Cup," CBI Principal Economist Alpesh Paleja said. "But even accounting for both factors, underlying conditions on the High Street remain challenging. Retailers are having to continually compete for the attention of value-conscious shoppers, in the age of digital disruption."

"The new prime minister must help support retailers by reducing the high cumulative burden of costs they face," Paleja added. "This should start by urgently reviewing the dire business rates system, which is unfairly impacting UK high streets and deterring much needed investment."

By Ahren Lester; ahrenlester@alliancenews.com

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