Poor retail figures dash hopes for pre-Christmas revival

Electrical retailer Comet entered administration last week. Credit: PA

Hopes for a continuing pre-Christmas sales revival were dashed today amid signs that consumers are still limiting spending to essential items.

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.

The figures heighten nerves in the sector ahead of the festive period, particularly after the collapse of electricals chain Comet.

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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.