Richard Lim, Chief Executive, Retail Economics said: "Retailers reported feeble sales growth for January as signs of squeezed disposable incomes are beginning to materialise.
"There are also growing concerns that spending has become increasingly debt-fuelled. Indeed, unsecured lending is growing at the fastest pace since the financial crisis. What’s more, our research shows that ‘repayment of debt’ is one of the biggest concerns for consumers heading into 2017. For many households, the prospect of tighter personal finances will soon become a reality which will filter through to weaker discretionary spending.
"The winners this year will be those retailers who provide a seamless omnichannel proposition, who execute click-and-collect conveniently for their customers and embrace the continued shift towards online retailing. For others, 2017 is set to be a very challenging year."