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Sales growth hampered by rising prices

27 October 2017 - 10:43 by David Aiken

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Although last month saw a 14 per cent uptick in the number of sales made via safe shopping online in the UK, analysts at the Office for National Statistics said that inflation was putting the brakes on sales growth across the retail sector.

Spokesperson, Kate Davies, said that there was actually a 0.8 per cent dip in sales in September, with wavering consumer confidence exacerbated by the fact that people are having to pay more for products than they might have been anticipating, according to Internet Retailing.

When it comes to the web, the good news is that some market segments are faring especially well at the moment. There was a massive 39 per cent increase in fashion and footwear sales last month, for example, as people prepared for the colder weather with new clothing purchases.

Conversely, the cost of consumer electronics is putting people off products of this type, leading to a 5.6 per cent decline in sales in this segment.

Experts argue that as well as being hit by inflation, another cause for this particular decline could be the impending arrival of the holiday shopping season and the return of Black Friday, when major discounts will be common. Consumers are holding off making big ticket purchases via safe shopping online with the expectation that savings will be available in a few weeks’ time.

These market fluctuations are to be expected, especially at a time when the UK’s economic future seems to be hanging in the balance as a result of the ongoing Brexit negotiations. In fact, sales were actually up in August, suggesting that there is still some life in the market.

As prices rise and people find themselves with less spare cash, buying online will become increasingly attractive due to the savings that are achievable.