The retail sector has passed the peak of the upward pressure on inflation, says the BRC.
January typically presents retailers with a tough gig persuading shoppers to spend in what is a cash-strapped month for most.
UK retailers witnessed the weakest quarterly growth in search volumes in Q4 2017.
Shop prices decreased for a third consecutive month in November.
Chancellor says decision to bring business rates switch forward will save firms £2.3bn.
The BRC proposes a series of targeted measures to support the retail industry.
Retailers could be failing to attract shoppers with the right mix of products, experience and convenience.
Totals rise by 2.3% in September, with food and clothing leading the way.
Spending on non-food items relapsed into negative territory, according to the BRC.
In the second quarter of 2017, the number of full time retail jobs fell by 3.3%.