Shares in retail stocks fell after retail analysis from Conlumino showed 59 percent of consumers intend to spend less at Britain's shops over the next six months, with only 2.6 percent planning to boost spending in 2013.
Despite some retailers claiming record takings over the festive sales period, the British Retail Consortium is warning this year will be an "ongoing endurance test" for retailers. According to the Independent, the BRC is campaigning for the Chancellor George Osborne to halt April's planned increase in business rates, which will hit shop-owners with a 175 million pounds bill.
Conlumino's managing director Neil Saunders stated: "January is when consumers really start to take stock and that's when we expect the realities of a Christmas on credit to start to have an impact on confidence. The outlook for the start of the year does not look too rosy.
"In terms of sales performance, 2012 will probably end on a bit of a high but retailers should be under no illusions that the consumer remains under significant pressure and most households intend to cut spending as they go into the New Year. As such, reports of a bumper sales period should not be taken as the beginning of the end of the consumer downturn."