Press releases

Deloitte comments on ONS retail sales

18 November 2022

Commenting on today’s ONS retail sales figures, Oliver Vernon-Harcourt, head of retail at Deloitte, said:

“Preparations for both the colder months ahead and the approaching Christmas festivities gave the first boost to retail sales volumes in months, rising by 0.6%. With inflation across essential items such as food and energy hitting new heights, retail sales values rose by 1.8% in October. However, it is worth noting that October’s boost came after a weak comparative following store closures for the State Funeral in September.

“October’s 45-year high food inflation saw the price of some essential grocery items such as milk and eggs rise sharply, causing food volumes to sink 1.0% as consumers made further cutbacks to combat price hikes. Some consumers made preparations for Diwali and Halloween celebrations, but this was not enough to boost food sales volumes, which have fallen for the third consecutive month.

“Meanwhile, seasonal weather has seen non-food sales increase slightly by 1.1%, including a 2.5% boost to clothing sales volumes. Retailers will be hoping that this increased appetite to spend can continue as we get closer to Christmas. Many will try to attract thriftier consumers with extended discounting and value lines during Black Friday and beyond.

“Following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement this week, consumer confidence is likely to weaken further as we move into the ‘Golden Quarter’. With two in three consumers saying they will have less to spend this festive season, and one in ten planning to forgo buying gifts altogether, retailers will need a renewed focus on providing value in a more competitive environment.”

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About Deloitte

In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NSE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

For more information, please visit www.deloitte.co.uk.

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