Retail gross sales plunged 3.7% in December as Omicron prompted Christmas distress for prime streets – with outlets warning spiking inflation may hit commerce even tougher this yr
- Retail gross sales volumes had been down 3.7 per cent in December amid Omicron wave
- Levels had been nonetheless barely increased than earlier than the pandemic struck in early 2020
- Shops warning that scenario may worsen as shoppers face spiking prices
Retail gross sales plunged 3.7 per cent in December as Omicron prompted Christmas distress for prime streets.
Sales volumes had been down sharply within the essential festive interval, with the ‘Plan B’ do business from home order coming into drive and shoppers not fuelling up vehicles as a lot.
Food gross sales dipped by 1 per cent, whereas clothes and family outlets confirmed one of many largest falls – with proof many individuals stocked up for Christmas in November in response to fears about provide chain chaos.
Despite the dip retail volumes had been nonetheless 2.6 per cent above their degree from February 2020.
But outlets are warning the scenario may worsen within the coming months as Britons face hovering power payments and rising costs.
Sales volumes had been down sharply within the essential festive interval, with the ‘Plan B’ do business from home order coming into drive and shoppers not fuelling up vehicles as a lot
ONS spokeswoman Heather Bovill stated: ‘After robust pre-Christmas buying and selling in November, retail gross sales fell throughout the board in December, with suggestions from retailers suggesting Omicron impacted on footfall.
‘As Plan B restrictions in England meant extra folks working from dwelling, there was a notable fall for gas gross sales.
‘However, regardless of the autumn in December, retail gross sales are nonetheless stronger than earlier than the pandemic, with over 1 / 4 of gross sales now made on-line.’
Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, stated the business ‘pulled out all of the stops to beat provide chain points, together with an ongoing scarcity of lorry drivers, to maintain prospects’ houses stocked with festive gadgets’.
But she warned that the scenario is more likely to deteriorate this yr as the price of residing disaster bites.
‘Customers face robust headwinds in 2022, with power costs and National Insurance contributions each set to rise,’ Ms Dickinson stated.
‘The remaining disposable revenue additionally faces higher competitors from a resurgence in tourism, consuming out, sport and stay music.
‘Rising inflation is lowering shopper demand whereas growing the prices for companies.’
Most of the retails gross sales fall in December was right down to non-food shops, which had grown strongly in November