Clothing and footwear sales saw double-digit like-for-like growth in the first week of the month as customers bought autumn and winter collections, but faded as they were too nervous to fill their wardrobes with them.
David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said October sales figures had been like a "disappointing firework - full of promise, but eventually fizzing out with a whimper" and said winning a share of the Christmas wallet over the next two months would be just as competitive as last year.
More top news
A chilly north for the glens of northern Scotland and the Highlands but otherwise a frost free and generally mild night.
The former US president has suggested some of those who voted for Brexit may only now be realising the impact of their decision
The head of MI5, Andrew Parker, says 2017 has not been a failure for the security services despite five terror attacks in the UK.