High-street sales hit by mix of wet weather and lower inflation while Olympic Games benefit blip fails to materialise
Retailers suffered a disappointing July as a slight boost from the Olympics failed to make up for the impact of wet weather and lower inflation, which reduced overall takings.Sales values edged up 0.1% higher on a like-for-like basis in July, compared with a 0.6% rise in the same month last year, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG research said.
Helen Dickinson, head of retail at professional services firm KPMG, said: “Sadly July was a lacklustre month and it’s doubtful this trend will change as early expectations that the Olympics will raise retailers’ fortunes look to be wide of the mark. Central London’s retailers are already being hit hard by shoppers actively avoiding the capital. It’s likely that any blip of benefit the Games bring will be short-lived.” Total sales, including new stores, were up by 2% compared with 2.5% in July last year, while the three-month rolling average shows growth of like-for-like non-food sales outpacing food sales for the first time.
Big-ticket items such as furniture and household appliances continue to struggle to sell with growth being promotion-driven. House prices fell in July after two months of increases but they are expected to remain flat for the rest of the year, a survey said today. The average house price was £161,094 last month, which was 0.6% lower than in June and the previous July, according to the Halifax House Price Index.