Responding to the latest ONS Retail Sales Index figures, Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:

“Sales growth failed to keep pace with inflation as sales volumes dropped for the eighth month in a row. Black Friday provided a small boost to retailers, but there are signs that many consumers are holding off Christmas spending until the last moment. Retailers may be slightly reassured by the marginal improvement in consumer confidence, but it remains well below levels seen even at the height of the pandemic due to the ongoing cost of living squeeze. There was stronger growth for furniture, floors and textiles, as households chose to concentrate on improving the home ahead of Christmas. But, many retailers will be holding their breath as they look to the hugely important December sales period.

“Given the pressure currently bearing down on the retail industry from higher energy and input costs, it is vital Government provides support for retailers as it puts in place future arrangements for the EBRS from April 2023. Without clear targeted support, retailers will see their costs – and potentially prices – climb even higher.”


According to the ONS, on a Year-on-year seasonally adjusted basis:

  • Sales by Value (amount spent) increased 3.6% YoY (this growth is primarily due to rising prices)
  • Sales by Volume (quantity bought) fell 5.9% YoY