Shop sales fall for fourth month as more dine out

Shop sales fall for fourth month as more dine out

Retail sales in the UK fell for the fourth month in a row in August, but people spent more time eating and drinking in bars and restaurants.

Sales fell by 0.9% in August, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, following a 2.8% fall in July.

Food store sales fell by 1.2%, but the ONS said this was linked to the removal of restrictions on hospitality leading to more people eating out.

Analysts said labour shortages and supply chain disruption had hurt sales.

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said shoppers and shops were "stymied by shortages in August", but added people "rediscovered our passion for a big night out".

"Keeping the shelves full was a real battle, especially for department stores, which is one reason why we spent less in these stores in August," she said.

 

"Supermarkets had a fight on their hands to keep supply chains flowing, but the might of these retailers meant they were able to track down alternative suppliers so we could keep filling our trolleys."


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