Worst high street growth ‘in 15 years’

Sales on the UK’s high streets rose by the lowest amount in January for 15 years.

A report by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) found that sales fell by 0.7% on the same month in 2009.

In London, high street sales rose by 3.5%, the worst reading for five years.

Footfall – the number of shoppers on the high street – was at its lowest level since January 2002, when this method of measuring shoppers was introduced.

According to BRC director Stephen Robertson: “After an exceptionally strong December, this growth is disappointing, but not disastrous.

“The wintry weather put people off going shopping in the first half of January and customers are becoming cautious again about spending when they don’t have to.”

Butchers spoken to by MTJ have confirmed that January was a particularly quiet month. However, some said there were signs of improvement.