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UK retail sales show weakest growth on record in July

Figures from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG show that while UK retail sales returned to growth last month, the uplift marked a record low for… View Article

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

UK retail sales show weakest growth on record in July

Figures from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG show that while UK retail sales returned to growth last month, the uplift marked a record low for July.

The total increase of 0.3% was the worst figure recorded for the month of July since the BRC began compiling its records in 1995.  The uplift compares to growth of 1.6% in July 2018.

Sales edged up 0.1% on a like-for-like basis year-on-year.

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, said:“The UK may have had record temperatures in July, but retail sales were far from record-breaking at just 0.3% growth. While any growth is welcome after two months of decline, it’s clear that most players need more than sunshine to get back on their feet.”

The figures show that over the three months to July, food sales dropped by 1% on a like-for-like basis and by 0.3% on a total basis.

During the same period, non-food retail sales fell by 2% on a like-for-like basis and by 2.1% on a total basis.

Meanwhile, in-store sales of non-food items declined by 4.1% on a total basis and by 4% on a like-for-like basis.

Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “The challenging retail environment is taking its toll on many high street brands who must contend with rising import costs, a multitude of public policy costs, and ever higher business rates. A coherent strategy for retail is needed. The Government should freeze future business rates rises and fix the appeals system before embarking on a wholesale reform of this broken tax system.”

Photo Georgia Hawkins

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