"for 30 years" notes the British Retail Consortium. All sectors dropped in sales except footwear of all things.
Total sales were down 1.9% this March from last year, while like-for-like sales fell 3.5%. Consumers weren't splashing their cash "unless they really had to".
The BRC added that “uncomfortably high inflation and low wage growth have produced the first year-on-year fall in disposable income for 30 years".
"Falling disposable incomes and the fear of worse to come means people don’t want to spend,” said BRC director general Stephen Robertson. “There’s only so much discounts and promotions can do to overcome that.”
"We have seen an emergence of new, lower spending patterns since the middle of January, which are currently continuing to trend downwards," added Helen Dickinson of research firm KMPG. Saving money for the family hurts our high streets - we're selfish.
"Many retailers will not be able to sustain this ongoing weakness in demand beyond the short-term and are hoping for some good news around the extended bank holiday period and a feel-good factor driven by the royal wedding.”
March UK retail figures down 1.9%
12 April 2011 | By Simon Priest