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Retailers had their worst October in six years according to the British Retail Consortium, though the furniture category bucked the wider trend.


Its CEO Helen Dickinson said furniture and clothing were driven by customers having more cash in their pockets and promotions respectively, while other retailers toiled.


Year on year like-for-like retail sales fell in October by 0.2 per cent while total retail sales—including new space—were up 0.9 per cent. Those figures meant last month was the worst October since 2008, according to the BRC.


The timing of Halloween and consumers waiting for Black Friday deals were offered as reasons for the overall decline.


Helen Dickinson said: “Furniture had a good month, however, probably boosted by higher disposable incomes. Clothing also did well last month, driven by mid-season sales. However this may be to the detriment of retailers’ profit margins.”