Shops struggle but bright for food

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The Independent Online

Hopes that the high street has turned the corner were dashed yesterday as retailers posted another fall in underlying sales.

Despite widespread discounting, retailers of clothing, footwear and homewares suffered a slowdown in trading last month. But food sales picked up as consumers stocked up in the cold spell. Like-for-like retail sales tumbled by 0.3 per cent in February, following the same decline the previous month, said the British Retail Consortium and KPMG.

Stephen Robertson, the director general of the BRC, said: "The reality of weak sales shows that a convincing revival remains illusory." Expectations were raised by a 0.9 per cent in retail sales in January on December, according to the Office for National Statistics.