Concern over the rising price of gasoline and electrical energy has pushed shoppers to top off on blankets, heat clothes and energy-efficient home equipment earlier than winter units in.

The most recent survey by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and consultancy KPMG discovered that whereas energy-saving home equipment corresponding to air dryers and air fryers have been promoting nicely, households have in the reduction of on objects corresponding to computer systems, TVs and furnishings because the cost-of-living crunch continues to chew. The general rise in retail gross sales, the worth of which grew by 2.2% in September, “masks a a lot greater fall within the quantity of products offered, as soon as inflation is accounted for”, the BBC reported.

Helen Dickinson, chief government of the BRC, warned {that a} tough winter looms for each retailers and shoppers.

“Prices are rising all through retailers’ provide chain, the pound stays weak, rates of interest are rising and a decent labour market is pushing up the price of hiring,” she mentioned. “All of that is making it more durable for retailers to scale back costs and assist struggling households.”

It comes as analysis agency Kantar estimated the typical annual grocery invoice throughout the UK is about to rise by £643 this yr, or an additional £54 a month.

“Taking that at a basket degree, that’s an additional £3.04 on high of the price of the typical procuring journey final yr, which was £21.89,” Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and client perception at Kantar, mentioned.

In one other indication of how rising costs are altering the residing habits of UK households, a report from Barclaycard discovered spending on takeaways and digital content material had benefited from the arrival of colder climate, which has prompted folks to spend extra time at dwelling.

“Customers are taking a savvy strategy to budgeting as they cut back spending on discretionary objects and search extra worth of their weekly store, which is having a knock-on impact on retail and hospitality sectors,” mentioned Esme Harwood, director at Barclaycard.

All this factors to shoppers “being extra selective about their purchases”, mentioned The Instances. This might spell specific bother for the already beleaguered retail and hospitality sectors forward of the historically busy Christmas interval.