Hot weather boosts UK retail sales
UK retail sales improved in July as more people bought picnic food and summer fashion items during the heatwave.
Figures from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG show that total sales increased by 2.3% in the month compared to an uplift of 6.4% in July 2021. On a like-for-like basis sales grew by 1.6%.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Sales improved in July as the heatwave boosted sales of hot weather essentials. Summer clothing, picnic treats, and electric fans all benefitted from the record temperatures as consumers made the best of the sunshine. However, with inflation at over 9% many retailers are still contending with falling sales volumes during what remains an incredibly difficult trading period.”
Over the three months to July, total food sales edged up 2.3%, although non-food retail sales decreased by 2% in the period. During the same time, in-store sales of non-food items increased by 2% on a total basis on July 2021.
Meanwhile online non-food sales fell by 3.9% in July, against a decline of 0.6% in the same month last year.
Looking ahead to the autumn, Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG added: “With stronger cost of living headwinds on the horizon, consumers will have to prioritise essentials, and discretionary product spending will come under pressure. As margins continue to be challenged, and costs continuing to rise, a significant drop in demand come the autumn will have detrimental impact on the health of the retail sector.”
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