Sunshine Coaxes Britons Back To The High Street In July

UK Consumer Shopping

July was a very successful month for UK retailers, bringing days of unbroken sunshine that coaxed Britons back to the high street, helping them deliver their fastest growth since July 2006. I read this week the retail sales monitor report of BRC and KPMG. Results pointed to a 3.9% increase in total sales in July, outpacing the growth recorded in the same period last year by nearly twice.

Like-for-like, retail sales advanced 2.2% compared with July 2012, when their growth was just 0.1% over the previous year. In real time, retail sales values were up 4.4%, scoring their strongest improvement since April 2011.

The warm weather was particularly beneficial for retailers in the food and fashion segments, whilst lowering the sales of furniture and gardening products, home accessories and house textiles. July was not a particularly strong month for online sales, however, which registered a 7.9% spike after seeing a more substantial growth of 15.6% in July 2012.

July was the second best month so far this year, and better than any July since 2006, BRC’s director general Helen Dickinson commented. Retailers’ strong performance was enhanced by the warm weather, but also by their efforts to lure consumers by offering them great discounts that translated into more lavish spending.

The increase in sales is hopefully a sign that the UK economy is heading for a brighter future, KPMG’s head of retail David McCorquodale also commented. Britons were given a much- needed positive boost thanks to Andy Murray’s Wimbledon triumph, the summer sun and the arrival of the royal baby, stimulating them to leave caution behind them and enjoy their trips to the high street, he added.