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Retail sales slump again

In its worst figures outside of a seasonal period for 11 months, the British Retail Consortium said October's UK retail sales were 0.1% lower on a like-for-like basis than a year ago, ending the modest revival seen in September.

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October sales 'fizzed out with a whimper'

Singer Robbie Williams turned on the Christmas lights at London's Oxford Street shopping hub yesterday. Credit: PA

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.

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