Retail sales growth slows in August
New figures have shown that retail sales growth slowed in August despite more people buying clothing for returning to the office and attending social events and weddings.
According to data from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG in their monthly retail sales monitor, total sales rose by 3%, which was below the three-month average and well behind July’s increase of 6.4%.
On a like-for like basis, sales edged up 1.5% which was also below the three-month average.
The figures also show that in-store sales of non-food items climbed by 23.7% in the three months to August as the clothing, footwear and accessories categories performed particularly well.
Meanwhile, food sales growth was impacted by the reopening of hospitality businesses which meant total sales rose by just 2.9% over the same period. Despite the impact of dull weather, sales were boosted by staycations and the late summer Bank Holiday.
Don Williams, retail partner at KPMG, said: “With the retail recovery showing signs of slowing, the sector is expected to grow at a more muted rate as retailers face increasing challenges on a number of fronts. Inflation is expected to accelerate putting pressure on household spending, whilst retailers battle for share of wallet as consumers spend money on leisure, entertainment and travel.”
Online sales in August fell by 4.6%. This meant that the online non-food penetration rate declined to 38.3% in the month from 42% in August last year.
Helen Dickinson. BRC chief executive, said: “While online sales growth has begun to slow, it is still high when compared with pre-pandemic growth rates. This demonstrates how the pandemic has shifted the digital-physical shopping balance and increased the linkage between the two channels.”