Like-for-like retail sales improved marginally in June, up 1.9%, according to new data from BDO LLP.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThe latest BDO\u2019s high street sales tracker shows that LFL sales growth remains well below CPI inflation, meaning that sales volumes have fallen significantly as consumers continue to tighten the purse strings.\r\n\r\nSophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO LLP, said: \u201cThe retail sector has recorded yet another month where sales volumes have come in well below inflation. Like-for-like sales growth has failed to exceed the rate of inflation every month since July 2022.\r\n\r\n\u201cAs the Government attempts to reach its target of halving inflation by the end of the year\u00a0 with a continued cycle of interest rate rises, we expect to see discretionary spending and sales volumes fall even further as rate rises begin to take effect and more households are hit by significantly higher mortgage and rent payments. The competition for the consumer purse has never been more important.\u201d\r\n\r\nFollowing last month\u2019s negative set of results, the homeware sector continued its poor performance into June. Total homeware LFL sales fell by 0.6% this month from a negative base of 8.8% for the same month last year. In-store sales performed particularly poorly, falling 0.7% from a base of 1.9% in 2022.\r\n\r\nTotal LFLs across the fashion sector grew just 3% in June, helped by a 7.2% spike in in-store sales, due to the increase in high street footfall during the warm weather.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThe lifestyle sector also saw limited growth, with total LFLs rising by 2.3% across the month from a base of 6.9%. This marks the category\u2019s seventh consecutive month of positive LFL sales.\r\n\r\nMichael said: \u201cReports of insolvencies in the retail sector have increased significantly recently, which reflects the severity of the situation. The retail sector is a vital cog in the UK\u2019s economic engine. It is a major employer and requires urgent support to prevent further decline.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\u201cRetailers, like others in the wider consumer markets sector, are also facing labour supply challenges, which have been compounded by post-Brexit restrictions on the movement of workers. The increased costs add further fuel to the ongoing inflationary pressures.\u201d\r\n\r\nMichael concluded that \u201cretailers will have to continue to focus on closely managing their cost base and how best they can drive top line revenue\u201d.