£30 from staff until the buyer of Asda . they ask to return the purchase by the time they reach

The shop has said Asda’s shoppers are asking staff to stop scanning and ‘put the rest back’ when they hit £30. According to official data, a drop in retail sales in May as consumers braced for a reduction in their grocery spending led to a belt-tightening of the living crises.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the decline in retail sales over the month came after a 1.6% drop in sales in food stores. The ONS also revised up sales growth in April, up 0.4% from the previous estimate of 1.4%.

It found that sales in supermarkets fell 1.5% in May, compared with a 2.2% drop in specialist stores such as butchers and bakers. But the biggest drop in spending was seen on alcohol and tobacco, with sales down 4%.

Similarly data showed a reduction in spending on home goods and department stores, with sales down 2.3% and 1.1%, respectively, as shoppers worry about affordability. This comes amid growing signs that the cost of living crisis is beginning to take its toll on the economy.

Supermarket giant Asda said earlier this week that some shoppers were asking cashiers to stop scanning items until a total of £30 was hit to cut costs. Lord Stuart Rose, leader and chairman of the Asda Group Board, said BBC: “People are trading back, they’re worried about spending. They have a limit they’ve set as well. They say £30 is a limit and if they go over £30, So just stop. It’s the same with petrol.”

He said many people will not remember the inflation of the 1970s and the current rise in prices has shocked many. He continued: “I belong to the generation that remembers the last time. One more time [inflation] If caught, it is quite harmful.”

Inflation hit a 40-year high of 9.1% on Wednesday, official data showed and fears that a large drop in consumer spending could push Britain into recession.

Heather Boville, deputy director of surveys and economic indicators at ONS, said: “Feedback from supermarkets suggested that customers were spending less at their food store due to rising cost of living. More workers returning to the office fueled this month. may have contributed to the increase in sales of the summer holidays, while shoppers buying clothes for the summer holidays helped boost sales of clothing.

“These increases were offset by declines for home goods and department stores, with retailers in these areas reporting consumer reluctance to spend due to affordability concerns and higher prices.”

Industry data from Kantar this week showed shoppers are set to see their annual grocery bills jump from £380 to £4,960 in 2022 as inflation sends prices soaring across the board. The ONS said sales at non-food stores remained unchanged in May, with clothing sales up 2.2% driven by a decline in household goods.

The data showed fuel sales rose 1.1% in May, driven by an increase in workers in offices. The proportion of online sales fell from 27.1% in April to 26.6% as shoppers increasingly returned to stores, but the ONS said it remained “significantly higher than before the pandemic”.

Ralph Robinson, Head of Retail at Technology Consulting bjssSaid: “May’s retail results are down to the extent that some analysts are comparing figures from three years ago to find a source of good news. Despite a return to normal holiday routine and building up to the Royal Jubilee, retail sales are down. Volume declined 4.7% year-on-year in May, the second consecutive monthly decline, as shoppers tightened their belts and focused on buying only essentials, even their weekly shop. As of now, early positive signs for the home goods and department store sectors have failed to continue into the summer, with the latest results showing declines of 2.3% and 1.1%, respectively.

“It is not surprising that consumer confidence is so low; Amid a further rise in inflation, poor performance of the FTSE, supply chain uncertainty and an impending slowdown, it seems that retailers are struggling to cover anything other than unavoidable spending, such as on food, holidays. The only notable exception is fashion. To me, ASDA president Stuart Rose sums up current consumer sentiment best – sharing how shoppers are now setting a £30 spending limit on tills, still the £40 quoted by Tesco president John Allen a month ago. below the limit.

“Sadly, retailers will be expecting a bumper set of results next month, with little sign of a turnaround, as retailers face additional pressure on supply chains, exacerbated by COVID pressure in China. Inspired, the rail strikes in Britain and the ongoing Ukraine conflict, coupled with low footfalls on High Street. While we would expect an uptrend, with inflation showing no sign of moderation, retailers would worry that the trend could continue throughout the summer season.

Linda Pethrick, retail lead at Accenture in the UK and Ireland, said: “Today’s modest drop in sales would not come as a surprise to a sector grappling with rapidly rising costs as well as pressure for struggling families to keep prices down. Inflation continues to be a major issue for retail businesses, which have to keep their stores afloat and compensate employees well, along with rising supply chain costs.For consumers, rising costs of core items mean That many don’t have the extra money to spend on discretionary items.

There have been calls to help consumers by lowering prices, which would be easier for retailers to do. Rising costs may have weighed down many firms this summer, especially at a time when customers are typically spending more. Retailers with the right technology to help keep costs down while providing a great customer and employee experience are more likely to weather the storm than those who don’t.”

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