Fears over U.K. consumer confidence has grown after one of the U.K.'s top retailers warned of a volatile trading environment, sending retail stocks down.
Department store Debenhams plc (DBHSY) were marked 3.37% down in London Tuesday at 9:14 BST, changing hands at 43 pence and extending a 20.22% fall over the past three months.
Debenhams Tuesday reported a decline of 0.9% in like-for-like sales in the 15 weeks to June 17, which translates into a 2.4% drop in sales in constant currency. The retailer said the fall was due to a volatile trading environment.
"As industry data has confirmed, May was a tough month for retailers and we continue to see volatility in trading week to week," Debenhams CEO Sergio Bucher said in a statement.
Debenhams warning is adding credence to data pointing to a weakening consumer market. Consumer confidence in June dropped to 106.9, according to a Tuesday report from YouGov and the Centre for Economic and Business Research, a level only slightly higher than its post-referendum low.
The drop is being attributed to the political uncertainty following the U.K.'s June snap election, rising inflation and the struggling housing market.
Retail sales in the U.K. grew at their slowest rate for four years in May, according to the Office for National Statistics, with sales falling 1.2% month on month.
The cooling in confidence led other retailers lower in London.
Clothing retailer Next plc (NXGPY) shares were down 0.93% in London to 3,963 pence, extending a three-month loss of 6.4%.
Marks & Spencer plc (MAKSY) was marked 2.27% down in morning trading to 335.50 pence. The FTSE 350 General Retailers Index was down more than 1%, extending a 5.23% loss since the beginning of the year.
Primark-owner Associated British Foods plc ASBFY lost 1.65% to 2,913 pence, in contrast to the 9.92% gain over the past three months.