Press releases

Deloitte comments on ONS retail sales

22 April 2022

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

“Sales volumes and values tumbled for a second consecutive month in March by –1.4% and –0.2% respectively. These results point to consumers reining in their retail spending as the rising cost of living continues to bite.

“Inflation on food, fuel and household goods is adding pressure to already squeezed consumer spending power. With UK consumer confidence falling steeply in the first quarter of the year, it could signal the start of consumers making some cuts as they pay more for essential items. Our data indicates consumers are spending less on large-ticket items, such as furniture and major household appliances as well as some other discretionary categories such as clothing and footwear. Of those who are spending less, 54% indicate they are doing so to save money, 35% said they are choosing cheaper brands or stores and 25% are taking advantage of sales or discounts.

“The next few months will see further disruptions to supply chains and cost pressures. Consumers will also feel the pinch, particularly around discretionary spending, with April seeing the introduction of energy price cap rises and national insurance increases. The retail industry will need to balance increasing costs with maintaining customer engagement. It will be key to make sure the right products and services are available, and at a price point that meet consumers thriftier spending habits.”


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 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.

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