Many retailers, especially those on London’s high streets, were hoping that the Olympics might bring about a significant boost in sales and help them see much-needed growth. Apparently, this is not exactly what happened, according to a new survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
The CBI has found that retail sales in the UK hit their lowest level in four months in the first half of August, during the Olympic Games. In addition, nearly one in three retailers reported a fall in sales volume compared to the same period a year ago. This can be compared to the 27% which improved their performance year-on-year, meaning that the balance stands at -3, the worst reading since April 2012 and following the balance of +11 registered in July.
The latest quarterly Distributive Trades Survey shows that a drop in sales volumes was seen in 12 of the 13 sub-sectors, with the biggest blow taken by recreational goods retailers and department stores. The only sub-sector that managed to build on the previous period, with a +58 balance, up from +42, was footwear and leather.
Judith McKenna, chair of the CBI distributive trades panel, comments that the positive spirit that overtook the nation during the large-scale summer events did not in fact reach the high street. Still, the CBI believes that sales prospects are brighter for September, as the projected balance comes in at +6, thanks to increased demand predicted by retailers.