UK retailers, especially those trading with clothes and footwear, should be happy with their performance last month. At least, this is what new figures released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG suggest. According to the latest report, retail sales in June saw a 1.4% like-for-like rise compared to the same period last year, when they dropped by 0.6%. Overall, sales have picked up 3.5% over the past 12 months, the report finds.
The growth in the sector is mainly down to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, which played a major part in picking up trade, accompanied by the warmer weather. Several retail sectors enjoyed a significant pick-up in activity, including clothing and footwear, food and drinks and online in general.
The biggest increase in June was registered in online retail, including mail-order and phone, with an overall growth rate of 12.1%, compared to 11.5% last year. Multi-channel retailers also enjoyed high sales, especially in the first half of the month, figures show.
Commenting on the findings, Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, pointed to the importance of temporary factors, such as weather conditions and holidays, which can tip the balance either way.
According to Helen Dickinson, head of retail for KPMG, the oncoming Olympics are likely to push sales upwards, but the positive effect of the Games will be concentrated in the south-east of England. She also predicts that non-food sectors will benefit the most.