Retail sales record best July growth since 2006
UK retail sales saw the fastest July growth in seven years last month driven by soaring temperatures and deep discounts offered by retailers.
Figures released by the British Retail Consortium and KPMG show that sales were up 2.2% on a like-for-like basis compared to July 2012. On total basis sales climbed 3.9% to record the fastest growth since 2006.
While the sunny weather boosted sales of fashion items such as sandals and swimwear, food sales also performed well as shoppers bought burgers and beers for their barbecues and champagne to celebrate events such as the birth of the Royal baby and Andy Murray’s Wimbledon triumph.
Online sales were up 7.9% compared with July 2012, when they had risen by 15.6%. Deep discounting by retailers also enticed shoppers into stores.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: "This is a very solid sales performance, the second best month this year and better than we've seen in any July since 2006. It has been driven by the warm weather and retailers working hard to offer deep discounts and great offers to their customers, with the reduction in shop prices we reported for July translating into more generous spending in UK stores.
"Food has performed very strongly, with summer barbecue ingredients and feel-good foods doing well during a month where the Lions, Murray, Chris Froome in the Tour de France and the start of the Ashes series all contributed to the positive summer feeling. Clothing has also had a very good month, which was down to good weather spurring summer fashion buys and some very good discounting.
"While we know that the picture is still variable and the High Street in particular continues to face considerable challenges, these positive results will be welcomed in town centres around the country that depend so much on retailers performing well."
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