The soaring cost of living has seen consumers slowdown spending, according to the latest retail monitoring report from BRC-KPMG.
Data showed total sales fell 0.3% in April - the first decline in 15 months. On a like-for-like basis, UK retail sales dropped by 1.7% as shoppers reduced their spending on big ticket items.
Non-food sales increased by 6.9% over the three months to April, compared with the same period last year, driven by higher inflation. Total food sales for the three-month period declined by 1.3%.
Helen Dickinson, Chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), said the rising cost of living had 'crushed consumer confidence and put the brakes on consumer spending'.
She added: 'Sales growth has been slowing since January, though the real extent of this decline has been masked by rising inflation.
'Big ticket items have been hit hardest as consumers reined in spending on furniture, electricals and other homeware, compounded by delays on goods coming from China.'