ParcelHero has revealed that retail sales fell by -0.2 per cent in April, the fifth consecutive fall since April 2021.
This comes as research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed these five months of declining sales have set a record for the longest, sustained fall since records began 25 years ago.
The parcel delivery firm said the uptick in online orders prevented a greater slump, increasing 0.5 per cent in value.
“Since shops reopened fully in April, retail sales have been steadily falling month-on-month, rather than climbing as expected,” ParcelHero head of consumer research David Jinks said.
“High Street retailers are feeling the crunch.
“Once again, online was one of the few growth areas, up 0.5 per cent in value compared to August.
“This shows people are still not confident about entering crowded shopping streets and malls.
However, Jinks stressed that even online retailers shouldn’t be in a hurry to “pop the champagne cork” as online sales were also down -2.3 per cent compared to September 2020.
He added: “Retailers will be praying that the increasing supply chain problems don’t make the situation even worse as we approach Christmas.
“October’s ONS retail sales figures will be scrutinised closely to see how significantly embattled stores are being impacted.”