The timely arrival of summer helped boost UK retail sales both online and offline in June, data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) suggests. But there are warnings that, like the weather, the upturn may not last.
During the month, which on some days saw the highest temperatures seen for 40 years, UK retail sales rose by 1.2%, on a like-for-like (LFL) basis that strips out the effect of store openings and closures, and by 2% in total. Online sales grew by 10.1% in June, ahead of the three-month trend of 8.4%, to account for 22% of total retail sales.
Over the three-month period to the end of June, in-store sales declined by 0.7% in total, and by 1.2%, LFL, and ecommerce sales contributed 2.4 percentage points to the growth of non-food retail sales during the month.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC [IRDX VBRC], said: “The arrival of summer provided a welcome pick-up to sales growth in June, particularly to non- food categories which saw a reversal in fortunes after a prolonged period of sluggish growth. Leisure pursuits and activities spurred consumer spending on summer clothing, beauty products and outdoor toys, which were also boosted by gift purchases over Eid.
“The six-month average, buoyed by June’s strong performance, now paints a slightly rosier picture for retail sales. But on closer inspection the year on year numbers belie the fact that rising food prices are responsible for the main component of growth and have prompted more cautious spending towards discretionary non-food items.
“Online continues to take the lion’s share of growth, although contribution from stores increased slightly in June as it seems…