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Retail sales in sharpest fall for over three years

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UK retail sales have fallen 0.8 per cent in June compared to the same time last year as the grocery price war kept prices down.

Adjusted for Easter distortions, this is the lowest rate of growth since May 2011, said the British retail consortium.

England’s early World Cup exit damaged the grocers who continued to see sales decline in value again this month.

Food sales have been flat for the last three months, growing just 0.1 per cent compared to a 1.1 per cent over the past year. Non-food sales grew 3.7 per cent over the last four months.

Director general of the British Retail Consortium Helen Dickinson, said: “For retailers, it’s a bit of a mixed picture, with food sales down and non-food sales up but at a slower rate than in June.”

David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, said concern over a potential rise in interest rates is having a dampening effect on retail sales. “Even sales of home accessories and furniture flat-lined (in June), which is surprising given the UK is reportedly in the midst of a housing boom.”

“Looking forward, retailers have two months of tough comparables coming up after Murray mania, a heat-wave and the arrival of the royal baby boosted sales last year. “This past performance will make like for likes look challenging over the next quarter,” he concluded.

Online sales in the non-food sector was 17.2 per cent in June, 0.9 per cent higher than the same time last year.

Published on Friday 18 July by Editorial Assistant
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