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June heatwave fails to lift retail sales

June heatwave fails to lift retail sales

Retail sales fell flat last month as the late June heatwave failed to offset the dampened consumer spending across the earlier part of the month.

The latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show total sales slipped 0.2% last month, against a growth of 4.9% in June 2023. This was below the 12-month average growth of 1.5%.

Food sales rose 1.1% year on year over the three months to June, against a growth of 9.8% in June 2023 and the 12-month average of 5.5%.

However, non-food sales dropped 2.9% in the three months, against last year’s growth of 0.3%. This is steeper than the 12-month average decline of 1.9%.

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BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson OBE said: “Retail sales performed poorly in June as the cooler weather during the first half of the month dulled consumer spending.

“Sales of weather-sensitive categories such as clothing and footwear, as well as DIY and gardening were hit particularly hard, especially compared to the surge in spending during last June’s heatwave.

“Electronics sales had a better month as football fans cheering on their national teams upgraded their home entertainment systems and people replaced their pandemic purchases.

“Retailers remain hopeful that as the summer social season gets into full swing and the weather improves, sales will follow suit.”

KPMG UK head of consumer for retail and leisure Linda Ellett said: “Despite pressure on household finances easing, with petrol and energy costs and shop price inflation all continuing to fall, consumers remain incredibly reluctant to take the brakes off of their spending.

“The stimulus of good weather, Wimbledon and Euro 24, which was hoped would drive consumer spending, has so far failed to materialise and financial concerns remain with many households.

“Retailers, who are running to stand still at the moment, having exhausted all of the levers they have at their disposal to cut costs and drive sales via promotions, will be looking to the new Government to boost the economy and confidence.”

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