// Retail sales in June jumps 3.4%, the highest increase since May 2018
// The growth also outstrips an average decline of 6.4% over the previous three months
// Experts warn that the troubled sector was “not out of the woods yet”
UK retailers have said they saw the biggest monthly sales jump in more than two years in June after swathes of high street stores reopened.
However, experts have warned that the troubled sector was “not out of the woods yet” and the coronavirus crisis was still not over.
The latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor for June revealed a 3.4 per cent increase, representing the highest increase since May 2018.
- Footfall still low in June despite retail lockdown exit (Springboard)
- Retail footfall plunges 62% in June as Brits remain cautious (BRC)
- Online retail sales continues to boom despite lockdown exit
It represented the first growth since the lockdown and significantly outstrips an average decline of 6.4 per cent over the previous three months.
The jump was driven by a surge in online sales, while it was also boosted by the reopening of non-essential retailers on June 15.
In June, UK retail sales increased by 10.9 per cent on a like-for-like basis – which excludes sales at temporarily closed stores – against the same month last year.
“June finally saw a return to growth in total sales, primarily driven by online as a result of lockdown measures being eased and pent-up demand being released,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.
“Despite footfall still being well below pre-coronavirus levels, average spend was up as consumers made the most of their occasional shopping trips.
“Though a month of growth is welcome news, retail is not out of the woods yet.
“The pandemic continues to pose huge challenges to the industry, with ongoing store closures and job losses across the UK.”
Over the three months to June, food sales increased 7.3 per cent on a like-for-like basis as supermarket sales remained strong.
Meanwhile, non-food sales in stores were 46.8 per cent lower for the quarter.
KPMG head of retail Paul Martin said: “Fashion sales haven’t rebounded quite as impressively though, despite reports of increased interest from those prepared to queue to enter stores.
“Online sales – while still in a high gear – are cooling a little as high street activity picks up again slowly and cautiously.”
with PA Wires