Britain’s high-street sales slowed considerably in March as growing uncertainties around a no-deal Brexit made buyers more cautious.
Retailers based out in the UK raised concerns that uncertainty around the Brexit is pulling consumers back from placing big-ticket purchase, post disappointing sales numbers in March.
As per the data revealed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the big 4 audit firm KPMG, sales growth declined to 0.5 per cent in the year to March, as compared to the annual growth of 2.3 per cent a year ago, as buyers reduced spending on more significant purchases. Retail spending has until now been a similar lucent spot for the UK’s economy. However, food sales reported a growth of 1.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, but considerably below the twelve-month average of 2 per cent.
Also, this year, Easter falls in April, which usually falls in March every year had also dented high-street retailers’ sales in March, but many retail stores have yet to experience a push in sales ahead of Easter Holidays in April.
The UK was scheduled to leave the EU bloc on March 29 but is still at risk of a disorderly Brexit on Friday this week, if Prime Minister Theresa May fails to secure another extension of Article 50.
Retail sales at the high-street retailers and supermarkets based in the UK declined for the first time since April 2018 and in February, retail sales were up by 0.5 per cent.
In the first quarter of 2019, retail sales surged by 0.6 per cent only, as compared with 1.8 per cent sales growth reported in the first quarter of 2018, as per the numbers released by KPMG and BRC.
However, the CEO of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson said that retail sales slide in March, even though the Easter contortion were considered for, as growing concerns over disorderly Brexit caused buyers to hold back their spending.
Another data revealed from Barclays that tracks nearly half of the UK's credit and debit cards, derived that in March, apparel sales declined for six consecutive months, and consumer spending at departmental stores was down by 4.7% and on the other side, consumer spending at restaurants, pubs and garden centres gained on a year-on-year basis, benefited as temperatures rose in March as compared with the previous year.
Chaotic Brexit possibilities continued to feed the hesitancy around the consumer's sentiments. Members of the British Parliament must support a deal that avoids no-deal Brexit. A no-deal Brexit or any chaotic form of divorce from EU bloc could lead to a shortage of goods at the stores of high-street retailers and supermarket and could push the price up for shoppers.
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