Worst year on record for retail sales


A report released by the British Retail Consortium shows that sales figures reached an all time low in December 2019.

Despite the late-timing of Black Friday, total retail sales decreased by 0.1 per cent for the weeks between November 24 – December 28, according to BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor December 2019.

Even grocery experienced a squeeze in profits as shoppers spent less than expected at the tills over the festive period.

While in-store figures plummeted, e-commerce retailers won out with online sales up 12.8 per cent in December.

“Despite the influence of some inflation across the market, shopper spending was not as expected for such a key sales period. As a result, while the value of spending wasn’t down, growth was negligible and volumes declined – a rarity for Christmas in recent times,” said Susan Barratt, CEO, IGD.


As retailers react to disappointing end-of-year figures across the UK, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, Aodhán Connolly calls on the Government to protect the Northern Ireland retail industry as the UK gets ready to leave the European Union.

“It is no surprise that 2019 was a tough year for retail across the UK with the political uncertainty,  Brexit deadlines and money having to be spent on preparing for the possible changes in how the UK trades with the EU.”

“With more changes guaranteed by the end of 2020, we need the Government to explain how they will protect NI business and NI consumers from the complexity and cost rises that will come under the current deal. It is important to break the narrative that Northern Ireland is OK under this deal. Northern Ireland is not OK. That’s why we need to minimise any delays, red tape and costs created by an Irish Seas border so that we can continue to provide our households with the choice and affordability they have now,” he adds.



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