Retail sales fall in August

UK retail sales dropped in August as consumer confidence and high inflation continued to be felt, according to the British Retail Consortium.

The BRC found that like-for-like retail sales fell 0.6% in August compared to the same month a year ago. Total sales increased 1.5%.

Like-for-like food sales were up 1.4% while total food sales bumped up 4.3%. Non-food sales were weaker with like-for-like sales sliding 1.5%. Total sales were flat.

The report found that non-food non-store sales, which include online, mail-order and phone sales, enjoyed their best growth since April, with sales up 12.6% on last August.

Despite figures released yesterday from the BDO High Street Sales Tracker, which said that high street stores reported their worst like-for-like sales in two years due to the riots, the BRC says last month’s retail sales were not impacted by the disruption.

Stephen Robertson, director general at British Retail Consortium, says: “The riots were not widespread or prolonged enough to have a significant impact on these UK-wide figures. Poor consumer confidence, high inflation and the on-going squeeze on personal finances remain the biggest threats to the retail sector.”

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