Sales were lower in the first half of June compared to the same time last year, according to 39 per cent of participants in CBI’s latest Distributive Trades Survey. However, 30 per cent admitted sales had increased.
Sales were also seen as poor by 21 per cent of firms, with the trend expected to continue to ease next month by 17 per cent.
Retailer cut the volume of orders placed with supplier in June and they expect to do again in July. 22 per cent of business reported stock levels were more than adequate to meet demand.
Andy Clarke, the new chairman of the CBI's Distributive Trades Panel, and retail director of Asda, said: "High fuel prices and concerns about the economy have blunted consumer appetites, and those retailers linked to the housing market are continuing to endure difficult conditions.”