Last week, there was speculation about whether the wet weather we have been experiencing has affected the retail sector. Did it stop people heading to the shops this October? You can see my thoughts on the matter here.

The Office of National Statistics has not yet published its data. But we do have some data from the British Retail Consortium which, as reported by Drapers, shows there was only a 2.5% retail sales growth compared to October last year. This does not take account of inflation and is behind the 12-month average growth of 4.1%. So, despite forecasters predicting that consumers would be hitting the shops in October to spread the cost of their Christmas shopping, this does not appear to be the case. The cost of living squeeze is still being widely felt. Perhaps people are now waiting for Black Friday deals, or continuing to cut back on their purchases.

The data shows that online spending has dropped, so despite fewer trips to the shops there does still seem to be a trend back towards in-store spending with people spending more during each trip. 

Retailer confidence, however, appears to be standing firm. As Andrew Denye pointed out in his article last week (here), we are still seeing plenty of store expansions as retailers prepare for more favourable market conditions expected to come.