News

UK retail sales growth strongest in 18 months

British retail sales saw some of their strongest annual growth in 18 months last June, with the summer heatwave driving the boost with outdoor toys and warm weather clothing flying off the shelves.

According to a report by Reuters, the British Retail Consortium said total spending in June was 2.9% up on the year before, the strongest month since January 2014 excluding distortions caused by the timing of Easter.

Sales on a like-for-like basis, which adjusts for changes in floorspace and is preferred by stores and equity analysts, were up by 1.8%.

According to the Telegraph, clothing retailers slashed the prices of their summer clothing in June after cool weather in May led to shops being left with reams on unsold stock, however temperatures increased in June, leading to the start of a heatwave at the end of the month.

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said:

“As the Wimbledon tennis championships got underway, June served up an ace for sales of non-food items.

“After cooler weather May weather had dampened fashion sales, the glorious sunshine and some significant promotional activity this month lured consumers into a rush to update summer wardrobes.

“Men’s fashion and footwear sales were also given a particular boost as dads were treated to something special on Father’s Day.”

BRC Director General Helen Dickinson said Chancellor George Osborne’s July 8 budget was likely to boost future consumer spending, as it froze taxation on vehicle fuel and increased the amount people can earn before paying tax. Osborne also said he would allow local authorities to extend store opening hours on Sundays, and increase the minimum wage for those aged 25 and over[1].

[1] David Milliken, “UK retail sales growth strengthens in June”, http://uk.reuters.com/