Economy

Retail sales fall in June despite Platinum Jubilee celebrations

The Platinum Jubilee increased food-related sales, which saw sales volumes spike by 3.1%.

Retail sales dropped by 0.1% in June 2022 following a fall of 0.8% in May 2022 despite the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee boost, according to data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).  

The data, which covers 29 May to 2 July 2022, revealed that sales volumes were 2.2% above its pre-coronavirus February 2020 levels, but down over the past year. 

It revealed non-store retailing (online retailers) sales volumes fell by 3.7% in June 2022, however, sales volumes were 20.8% above its February 2020 levels.

Non-food stores, such as clothing and household goods, slumped by 4.7% and 3.7% respectively and were hit “particularly hard”.

However, the Platinum Jubilee increased food-related sales, which saw sales volumes spike by 3.1%, with retailers confirming that increased sales were because of the country’s celebrations.

Supermarkets’ sales volumes rose 3.1% over the month, alongside an increase in specialist food stores such as butchers and bakers of 0.8%, and alcohol and tobacco stores, which rose by 3.5%.

Heather Bovill, ONS Deputy director for Surveys and Economic Indicators said: “After taking account of rising prices, retail sales fell slightly in June and although they remain above their pre-pandemic level, the broader trend is one of decline. 

“After a fall in May, food sales picked up due to the Jubilee celebrations, but this was the only sector to report an increase. Fuel sales fell back considerably with retailers reporting the record high prices at the pump hitting sales.”   

She added: “Clothing purchases dipped along with household goods, with retailers suggesting consumers cutting back on spending due to higher prices and concerns around affordability.   

“Although still above their pre-pandemic level the proportion of sales online fell to its lowest level since March 2020.”

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