UK retail continues rebound as sales leap 13.1% in June

Record quarter for UK retail as sales jump 10.4% BRC KPMG Helen Dickinson
The latest BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor showed the quarter to June saw a mammoth rebound in like-for-like for sales.
// Total retail sales surged by 13.1% in June, well above the 3-month average of 10.4%
// Non-food stores saw like-for-like sales jump by 47% in the wake of shop reopenings since April
// Food sales were also up 7.9% for the three-month period

Retail sales have surged by record levels over the past three months as shoppers flocked back to stores since the easing of lockdown restrictions began in April.

The latest BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor showed the quarter to June saw a mammoth rebound in like-for-like for sales after stores reopened and people continued to spend more online.

Total retail sales surged by 13.1 per cent in June, against a decline of 1.3 per cent recorded in June 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The increase last June is also well above the three-month average growth of 10.4 per cent.


On a like-for-likes basis, UK retail sales increased 17 per cent from June 2019, when they had decreased 1.6 per cent from the preceding year.

The BRC said this growth rate increase significantly because online sales now “play a far greater role” in like-for-like figures.

“The second quarter of 2021 saw exceptional growth as the gradual unlocking of the UK economy encouraged a release of pent-up demand built up over previous lockdowns,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.

“In June, while growth in food sales begun to slow, non-food sales were bolstered by growing consumer confidence and the continued unleashing of consumer demand.

“With many people taking staycations, or cheaper UK-based holidays, many have found they have a little extra to spend at the shops, with strong growth in-store in June.”

Dickinson added that fashion and footwear sales were strong in the first half of the month with football fever helping to spark strong TV sales later in June.

Non-food stores, such as fashion and homeware retail, saw like-for-like sales surge by 47 per cent for the past quarter as they were buoyed by the strong reopening.

On a total basis though, non-food store sales slipped 0.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, food sales were also up 7.9 per cent for the three-month period, and 9.1 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Over the three-months to June, non-food retail sales increased by 12.4 per cent and 45.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

The BRC said this was well above the 2019 total average decline of 1.3 per cent, for the month of June, non-food was in growth year-on-year.

Meanwhile, online non-food sales increased by 31.3 per cent in June, against a growth of 1.5 per cent in June 2019.

This is below the three-month average growth of 40.3 per cent.

KPMG head of retail Paul Martin said: “Retailers are facing challenges on a number of fronts, particularly convincing consumers that it’s safe to shop in store as restrictions around mask wearing and social distancing come to an end.

“With travel now looking to be back on the agenda for summer and Government Covid-19 support packages slowly coming to an end, retailers will be hoping that the feel-good factor from Euro 2020 and lifting of Covid restrictions will give the high street the summer boost it needs.”

In separate figures, Barclaycard revealed that consumer credit card spending jumped 11.1 per cent last month.

It revealed that staycations and socialising particularly helped to drive spending, with a 38.1 per cent increase on the amount spent in pubs.

The latest figures also showed a 146 per cent rise in online spend on takeaways and fast food, while the restaurant sector also showed some signs of recovery, the report said.

Meanwhile, essential spending increased by 14.7 per cent amid a 19 per cent rise in supermarket spending for the month.

Barclaycard head of consumer products Raheel Ahmed said: “June saw Brits flock back to pubs, bars and beer gardens to watch the football and tennis on the big screens, as the heatwave early in the month encouraged many of us to get out in the sunshine and socialise.

“The start of the Olympics and the expected easing of restrictions later this month should continue to lift spirits and provide more opportunities for get-togethers, whether that’s a weekend break, a meal out or to celebrate sporting victories.

“It’s great to see Brits making up for lost time over the past year.”

with PA Wires

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