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Store owners anticipate sales decline next month, according to latest survey

Retailers expect glum February

The latest Distributive Trades Survey has revealed that 52 per cent of retailers expect sales to decline in February – the weakest forecast since the survey began in 1983.

63 per cent of retailers’ surveyed reported a drop in year-on-year sales volumes in January, while 16 per cent said volumes were up (year-on-year), as reported by the Retail Bulletin.

"The Christmas and New Year trading period revealed mixed fortunes with clear divisions between value and premium retailers,” said chairman of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel and retail director of Asda Andy Clarke.

“Retailers caught in the middle will continue to suffer as customers vote with their feet. As petrol costs and food inflation have come down and household energy bills are beginning to ease, consumers will have a bit more spending power, but as job losses increase retailers will face a difficult year," Clarke added.

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