Weather hits internet retail as high streets boosted by heat

ONLINE sales fell two per cent in July, in a reversal of fortunes for internet retailers as shoppers returned to high streets during the heatwave.

According to the IMRG Capgemini retail index for July, sales were up by nine per cent in the 12 months to July, but dipped in the month itself, making it the worst July performance on record.

In contrast, the British Retail Consortium and Springboard report today that footfall on high streets rose by 2.3 per cent between June and July, crediting the warmer weather with an increase in the number of shoppers. The heatwave failed to reach shopping centres, which saw a 2.3 per cent decline in footfall over the same month.

London outpaced the rest of the country in retail, with a 4.8 per cent increase in footfall over the year to July. The capital also has a much lower proportion of vacant shops than the UK as a whole, with seven per cent empty, compared to 11 per cent nationwide.