UK retail sales decline to mark ‘worst June on record’
UK like-for-like retail sales fell by 1.6% in June as the uncertainty surrounding Brexit deterred people from spending on non-essential items.
The figures from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG show that total sales dropped by 1.3%.
Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “June sales could not compete with last year’s scorching weather and World Cup, leading to the worst June on record.
“Sales of TVs, garden furniture and BBQs were all down, with fewer impulse purchases being made.
“Overall, the picture is bleak: rising real wages have failed to translate into higher spending as ongoing Brexit uncertainty led consumers to put off non-essential purchases.”
During the three months to June, food sales climbed by 1.5% on a like-for-like basis and by 2.4% on a total basis. Over the same period, non-food like-for-like and total retail sales decreased by 2% and 2.1% respectively.
Looking at in-store sales of non-food items, these fell by 4.3% on a total basis and by 4.1% on a like-for-like basis. Meanwhile, online sales of non-food products rose by 4% in June, against a growth of 8.5% in June 2018. The non-food online penetration rate increased from 28.5% in June 2018 to 30.7% last month.
Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, said: “Pressure on retailers continues to mount and is seemingly coming from all angles: economic, geo-political, environmental and behavioural. Consumer spend is only likely to fall further as things stand, and cost efficiency remains vital. The focus for most in the industry will be preservation and adaptation in order to see them through these tough times.”
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