High streets take a weather hit

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Shoppers who put off buying coats and boots because of last month’s warm weather helped push retail sales to their weakest level for almost six years.

The monthly survey by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG reported like-for-like sales were down 2.1 per cent, with total sales falling by 0.8 per cent, their poorest level since December 2008 excluding Easter distortions.

Clothing posted its worst fall since April 2012, and footwear recorded its biggest decline since March 2013.

The supermarket wars were the other factor behind falling sales, with food prices over the last three months declining 1.7 per cent, and posting their first 12-month average decline in five years, dipping 0.2 per cent.

KPMG head of retail David McCorquodale said: ‘The prolonged Indian summer wilted retail sales in September.’