Retail sales slump in August

UK retail sales fell in August as consumers stayed at home to watch the Olympics rather than spending on the high street, official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed today.

Overall sales fell 0.2 per cent over the month, although year-on-year, the ONS recorded an annual rise of 2.7 per cent.

Non-store retail volumes – including online shopping – fell 6.7 percent month-on-month, the sharpest decline since December 2007.

“Feedback from online retailers suggests that sales were lower as consumers watched the Olympics instead of shopping online," the ONS said.

David McCorquodale, retail partner at KPMG, said today: “With a fantastic Olympics set to inspire a generation in sports, it sadly did not inspire a pickup in High Street spending.

“However, August is traditionally a weak month for sales; retailers must now turn their attention to the next three months, which will have a critical impact on their profitability."