Retail sales in May saw the biggest fall since records began as concerns over the state of the industry in the UK continue to grow.

Total sales were down 2.7%, which is the largest decline since the British Retail Consortium (BRC) began recording figures in January 1995. Like-for-like sales, which exclude the effect of new stores, were down 3%. The BRC did point out that May last year did see record rises of over 4% in total sales due to hot weather and the royal wedding.

The figures have led to many market analysts questioning whether May's downfall is a sign of a wider decline in retail in the UK. Some are suggesting that we, as a country, have hit 'peak stuff', as well as greater consciousness over the environmental impact of purchasing new products.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson warned the figures could signal more job losses and store closures.

She said: "While May 2018 offered almost unbroken sunshine, topped off by the run-up to the World Cup and the marriage of Meghan and Harry, May 2019 delivered political and economic uncertainty.

"With retail conditions the toughest they have been for a decade, politicians must act to support the successful reinvention of our high streets and local communities.

"Business rates remain a barrier, preventing many retailers from investing in their physical space. We have a broken tax system, which sees retailers paying vast sums of money regardless of whether they make a penny at the till, and yet the government is failing to act. The legislation is falling behind the technological revolution."