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High Street

July sales increase 6.4% but remain below yearly average

Despite the rise in sales during July, the monitor found that this was ‘below’ the three-month average growth of 14.7% and the 12-month average growth of 10.4%

On a total basis, sales increased by 6.4% in July, against a growth of 3.2% in July 2020, according to the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KPMG retail sales monitor.

Despite the rise in sales, however, the monitor found that this was below the three-month average growth of 14.7% and the 12-month average growth of 10.4%. Meanwhile, on a two-year basis, total retail sales for the four-week period grew by 9.1%.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive, BRC stated that the lifting of restrictions “did not bring the anticipated in-store boost”, with the wet weather leaving consumers “reluctant” to visit shopping destinations.

However, online sales remained strong, with fashion outlets in particular seeing a “bounce back” to pre-pandemic levels.

She said: “Unfortunately, the current broken business rates system continues to hold back retailers, hindering vital investment into retail innovation and the blended physical-digital retail offering.

“Retailers want to play their part in building back a better future for local communities, and the government must give them the tools to do so.”

Paul Martin, UK head of retail, KPMG, added: “Both women’s and men’s clothing continued their revival with strong growth in-store and online. Many other non-food categories had a less strong performance, especially those related with the home after the house moving frenzy of recent months started to abate.

“Staffing pressures, increases in commodity and component costs, rising inflation eating into households’ spending power and stalling consumer confidence could lead to a slowdown in retail sector growth as we head into autumn.”

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