Not since the financial crisis has the outlook for UK retailers been so gloomy.
A new report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), has found the UK's August retail sales plunged at the fastest rate since 2008.
In comparison with August last year, sales fell from -16% to -49%, the second weakest since records began, 36 years ago.
Sentiment across the retail sector has fallen to its lowest level in decades, with employment and investment intentions similarly down.
CBI has attributed industry unease to the looming prospect of a no-deal Brexit.
Despite this, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) demonstrated stronger-than-expected growth of over 3% for retail sales in July, compared with the same month last year.