Inflation and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis are continuing to spell trouble for retailers, especially of luxury products like jewellery.
CPI inflation figures recently showed headline inflation at 9.1%. Meanwhile the Office for National Statistics shows that GDP is down 0.5% month-on-month. The only good news is that employment is up 1%, which should give some small glimmer of hope to shop owners.
However, with the ONS showing that consumers are looking for ways to reduce their spending on essentials such as food, experts are not confident that retailers of luxury items will fare any better.
Responding to the latest ONS Retail Sales Index figures, Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Households reined in spending as the cost-of-living crunch continued to squeeze consumer demand.
“Many customers are buying down, particularly with food, choosing value-range items where they might previously have bought premium goods.
“High-value items, such as furniture and white goods, were also impacted as shoppers reconsidered major purchases during this difficult time.
“Higher operational and input costs have filtered through to prices, meaning both retailers and their customers are in for hard times ahead.
“Retailers are doing what they can to support households by absorbing as much of the costs as possible, expanding their value ranges, offering discounts for some vulnerable groups, and investing in their own supply chains to reduce future costs.
“If costs continue to spiral, government will need to be ready to support struggling households.”