Declining retail sales in June dragged the yearly average down to the lowest level in more than 20 years as this summer’s weather failed to match the 2018 heatwave.
Total sales decreased by 1.3 per cent in June, compared to a rise of 2.3 per cent in the same month last year, according to research published today by the British Retail Consortium and KPMG in the latest sign of gloom on the high street.
Sales were boosted in June 2018 by hot weather and the World Cup, while ongoing Brexit uncertainty weakened consumer confidence this year.
June’s decline caused the 12-month retail sales average to slump to 0.6 per cent, which is the lowest figure since records began in December 1995.
In-store sales of non-food items fell 4.3 per cent, driving the overall decline.
Meanwhile, online sales growth, not including food products, more than halved last month. Sales grew by four per cent in June, compared to 8.5 per cent the previous year.
British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “June sales could not compete with last year’s scorching weather and World Cup, leading to the worst June on record.
“Sales of TVs, garden furniture and BBQs were all down, with fewer impulse purchases being made.
“Overall, the picture is bleak: rising real wages have failed to translate into higher spending as ongoing Brexit uncertainty led consumers to put off non-essential purchases.”
The research follows a report by the Confederation of British Industry that found retail sales fell at the fastest pace in more than 10 years last month.
The survey showed 58 per cent of retailers said sales volumes were lower in June than a year ago, while only 16 per cent said they were higher, giving a balance of minus 42.