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Deloitte comments on ONS retail sales

20 October 2023

Commenting on today’s ONS retail sales figures, Oliver Vernon-Harcourt, head of retail at Deloitte, said:  

“The joint warmest September on record and a return to school failed to fuel overall growth in retail sales in an unexpected subdued performance. The late summer heatwave delayed the purchase of autumn and winter goods, with continued uncertainty around high mortgage rates, falling house prices and rising rents.

“The cost of many essential items remains high, following a period of prolonged pressure from food inflation. While food sales saw marginal growth in September, retailers will be focused on providing the best value for their customers in the run up to the festive period.

“As we enter the ‘Golden Quarter’, retailers will be hoping for a steady increase in consumer confidence. Deloitte’s upcoming Consumer Tracker report will show that more consumers are planning to do their Christmas gift shopping on the high street than last year. With this in mind, we anticipate a highly competitive festive season for retailers where product, price and availability, combined with great in-store customer service, will be key to secure their share of consumer spend.”