Both in-store and online retail sales fell in September, the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures reveal.
The home delivery expert ParcelHero says shoppers have yet to feel the benefit of the slowdown in retail price rises, with only food sales bucking the slump.
Retail sales volumes – the amount we all bought – fell by -0.9% in September compared to August, and there was also a fall of -0.2% in the value of sales – the amount we all spent. Household goods store sales volumes fell by -2.3% and clothing store sales volumes fell by -1.6%. The volume of non-store (predominantly online) sales fell by a hefty -2.2% and the value of online sales dipped by -1.3%.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., said, ‘There were few retail winners this September. Both the High Street and online sales fell. Retailers told the ONS that consumers were still struggling with the increased cost of living and prices. The only uptick was for food stores, whose sales volumes rose by 0.2% overall and 0.4% in value online. Doubtless, some of that spending was on comfort eating. Sometimes, only chocolate or a tub of ice cream can help beat the financial blues.
‘There were some chinks of light in the September mists. The value of online sales was up 6.4% against the same month a year ago and took 26.7% of the entire retail market. The proportion of online sales continues to exceed pre-pandemic levels (19.7% in February 2020).
‘As retail settles to a new equilibrium, it will be those retailers with strong in-store and online sales that will ultimately triumph in a post-Covid world. ParcelHero’s influential report “2030: Death of the High Street” has been discussed in Parliament. It reveals that, unless retailers develop an omnichannel approach, embracing both online and physical store sales, the High Street as we know it will reach a dead-end by 2030.’