Retail sales have fallen over 12 months for the first time in three years, according to a British Retail Consortium study.
Although a small figure, the 0.1 per cent decline in retail sales in October is the first time that overall monthly retail sales have fallen since April 2005.
Without store openings in that period, the like-for-like figure is closer to a decline of 2.2 per cent, according to the study.
Food and drink, plus footwear were the only two retail sectors to record growth. (like-for-like)
"These are seriously poor numbers, especially in the run-up to Christmas," said BRC director general Stephen Robertson."
The report suggested that a large portion of this year's sales have been driven by discounting.
"Like-for-like sales have now fallen in seven of the last eight months, with every sector down on a year ago apart from food and footwear," added Robertson.
The UK economy shrank between July and September, the first decline for 16 years.
The report did not indicate any bicycle industry specifc findings.