HOPES of a high street boost ahead of the Olympics were dashed today with figures showing retailers had suffered a “lacklustre” July.
Retail sales values edged 0.1 per cent higher on a like-for-like basis in July compared with a 0.6 per cent rise in the same month last year, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG research revealed.
Warm weather in the final week and a slight boost from Olympic fever helped support food and drink sales but it was not enough to offset the impact of lower prices and wet weather earlier in the month.
Some retailers south of the Border did benefit from the longer Sunday opening hours brought in for the Olympic period, the BRC said.
Helen Dickinson, head of retail at KPMG, said: “Sadly July was a lacklustre month and it’s doubtful this trend will change as early expectations that the Olympics will raise retailers’ fortunes look to be wide of the mark.”
Total sales, including new stores, were up 2 per cent compared with 2.5 per cent in July last year, while the three-month rolling average shows growth of like-for-like non-food sales outpacing food sales for the first time.
So-called big-ticket items such as furniture and household appliances continue to struggle to sell with growth being promotion-driven.
Figures for Scotland will be released later this month. The Scottish Retail Consortium’s data for June had shown that sales north of the Border had flatlined, meaning Scotland had lagged the UK as a whole for the 15th month in a row.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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