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Snow and economic worries hold back retail sales

(SHARECAST) – A combination of bad weather and economic nervousness could hit retail sales hard this Christmas, a survey by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) suggests.

Sales grew by 0.7 percent in November from the same month the previous year, compared with growth of 0.8 percent the previous month.

“Total sales growth has been weak now for eight months in a row and, given that VAT has pushed up annual inflation boosting sales values, underlying volume growth is virtually zero,” Stephen Robertson, the BRC’s director general said.

Meanwhile, the economic worries have been compounded by the bad weather that started at the end of November.

“Overall, the extreme weather has dramatically undermined sales over the last 10 days,” he said.

“Retailers will be hoping disruption eases so that sales lost early in the month are made up over the next couple of weeks and not lost entirely.”

The sportswear and equipment retailer JJB Sports and the department store group John Lewis have both complained that the wintery conditions have been keeping shoppers away.

The winter weather has helped sales of clothing and footwear though, the BRC said.

 

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