Cost of Living squeezes retail for a second month in a row

Shoppers are spending less than they were a year ago, as the rise of cost of living puts pressure on incomes and excess spending, which has ultimately affected retail businesses.

Norwich High Street where some businesses are struggling to keep customers

After the pandemic ended sales rose sharply straight after the pandemic restrictions were eased but that “spending bubble” has now burst according to the BRC’s Helen Dickinson.

 Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said: “Sales continued to see declines as the cost-of-living crunch squeezed consumer demand.

She said that “Higher value items, such as furniture and electronics, took the biggest hit as shoppers reconsidered major purchases during this difficult time. Nonetheless, fashion and beauty did well as people prepared for holidays abroad and the summer’s social calendar; with red, white and blue outfits adorning shopping carts ahead of the Jubilee weekend.”

Total sales in retail in May declined by 1.1% compared to May 2021. Which is sharper than in April when BRC figures showed a fall of 0.3% compared to April 2021.

Sales of accessories, clothing and footwear including beauty and accessories temporarily rose during Jubilee weekend however customers are not spending in the long run.

Inflation is currently running at historic highs, what people are buying is costing them more. So people are buying less goods and the have less disposable income.

Some small businesses are struggling to keep prices at the same price for customers leading to ultimately a decline in customers.

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