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June retail sales boosted by warm weather

UK retail sales increased by 1.2% on a like-for-like basis in June as trade was boosted by warmer weather. On a total basis, sales were up 2%.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

June retail sales boosted by warm weather

The figures from the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor show that like-for-like food sales rose by 3.6% in the three months to June to mark the highest three-month average since February 2012. Total sales climbed by 4.7%.

Meanwhile, non-food sales rose by 0.9% in the period with total sales growth of 1.2%.

Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “The arrival of summer provided a welcome pick-up to sales growth in June, particularly to non- food categories which saw a reversal in fortunes after a prolonged period of sluggish growth. Leisure pursuits and activities spurred consumer spending on summer clothing, beauty products and outdoor toys, which were also boosted by gift purchases over Eid.

“The six-month average, buoyed by June’s strong performance, now paints a slightly rosier picture for retail sales. But on closer inspection the year on year numbers belie the fact that rising food prices are responsible for the main component of growth and have prompted more cautious spending towards discretionary non-food items.”

Online sales of non-food products climbed 10.1% in June, compared to 9% a year earlier. Over the three-months to June, online sales of non-food products grew by 8.4% while in-store sales declined by 0.7% on a total basis and by 1.2% on a like-for-like basis.

Dickinson continued: “Looking ahead, there’s a question mark over whether this spending momentum will last, as household expenditure is increasingly squeezed from rising inflation and slowing wage growth. The reality is that retailers’ efforts in absorbing mounting cost pressures into their margins are already being tested, so the Government must have the consumer front of mind as it enters the UK’s trading negotiations with the EU, to avoid any further cost increases to retailers and their customers.”

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