Pressure is mounting on UK retailers in the run up to Christmas, according to social shopping search engine Shopow.
It points to today’s British Retail Consortium retail sales figures which show UK retail sales values were 0.6% lower on a like-for-like basis from October 2010, when sales had risen 0.8%.
On a total basis, sales were up 1.5%, against a 2.4% increase in October 2010.
This can be seen as a worrying trend so close to the Christmas trading season, said Shopow. It is certainly the case management of person finance will make or break the retail sector in the coming months, the company claims.
Non-food and non-store (internet, mail-order and phone) sales growth picked up a little in October after falling back in September. Sales were 11.5% up on a year ago, more than the 10.1% in September but less than in August and than the 12.8% in October 2010.
The number of high street casualties is expected to rise this month as more household names and leading corporations are still suffering, said Shopow. Recent reports have shown profit warnings issued by the British retailers are at alarming levels.
Kevin Flood, CEO of Shopow, said: “The figures indicate consumer confidence continues to have a significant impact at the tills and the news of rocketing inflation won’t do much to encourage shoppers to recommence their spending on big ticket items. This is especially the case if they feel they are paying over the odds for such items.
“The pressure is on the retailers in the approach to Christmas as many are finding more aggressive discounting is necessary to prevent what could be a difficult season. Although the high street is severely being tested, we are expecting an encouraging next couple of months online and stores embracing a multi-channel approach across mobile, online and in-store will be best placed to benefit from the latest innovations that include the integration of social media.
“With purse strings tightened, shoppers are using social networking to share the deals and discounts they have discovered. The retailers who make social shopping accessible will benefit from natural, word of mouth exposure.”