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Retailers left hoping that consumer demand is on hold in anticipation of Black Friday and Christmas

Retailers left hoping that consumer demand

Commenting on the latest ONS retail sales figures and the ONS report on how internet activity has influenced the way consumers shop.

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Commenting on the latest ONS retail sales figures and the ONS report on how internet activity has influenced the way consumers shop, Don Williams, Retail Partner at KPMG UK, said:

“The latest retail sales figures from the ONS echo what many of the industry’s datasets have made painfully clear in recent months: consumer demand remains incredibly fickle in this volatile climate; growth is increasingly hard to achieve, and consumers are clearly thinking more carefully about their spend – hence the continued divergence between food and non-food retail categories.

“October naturally kicks off the all-important ‘golden quarter’, when many retailers achieve the vast majority of their annual revenue, making these months pivotal to the entire year’s success or failure. The latest figures suggest that sales have been somewhat static, many will be hoping that consumer demand is on hold in anticipation of Black Friday and Christmas to come. That said, retailers have already had to aggressively discount products to get stock moving after a series of disappointing months, so it remains to be seen whether further discounting to come will be to the detriment of the retailer’s bottom-line.

“Alongside the latest retail sales figures, the ONS insights into how our internet activity has influenced the way we shop makes for interesting reading. We all know that consumers have increasing turned online in search of better value, convenience and experience, and while growth is usually higher online, KPMG figures have showed that this too has started to slow.

“The truth is that the high street – despite all the well-publicised woes –still has a purpose and place for consumers. It’s just that it’s form and function is undergoing radical change, with legacy retailers on the forefront of this process. In these all-important final months of 2019, it will be vital for retailers to continue to challenge whether they have the perfect mix of physical and online offerings to remain firmly on the radar of time-pressed festive shoppers.”

-ENDS-

  • The latest ONS retail sales for the month of October 2019 can be accessed: here
  • The ONS release – How our internet activity has influenced the way we shop: October 2019 - can be viewed: here.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Simon Wilson, KPMG Corporate Communications
T: 020 7 311 6651
M: 077853 73397
E: simon.wilson@kpmg.co.uk

About KPMG in the UK

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