The monitor revealed that like-for-like sales increased by just 0.2% compared with January 2005.
Kevin Hawkins, director general of the BRC, said: “The message from every sector of our industry is the same. The squeeze on consumer spending continues unabated. The economy badly needs a cut in interest rates.”
Meanwhile, Waitrose has defied retail gloom by revealing that its sales increased 9.9% in the week to January 28.