UK retail sales have been hit by the wet weather, falling by 1% in August on a like-for-like basis compared to the same period last year. The findings in the latest British Retail Consortium survey revealed that retail sales fell for five running months, its worst result since 2005.
Overall trade for the month remained tough despite widespread discounting among the retailers.
Among the worst affected sectors were furniture and homeware, which were “well down”, with sales of DIY and gardening equipment slowing. Clothing and footware retail also remained poor.
In contrast, the food and drink sector showed growth, returning significant sales. Food retailers recorded higher sales of cheaper meat stocks such as mince and stewing meats.
The BRC blames low consumer confidence and a slump in housing markets for the tough trading conditions.
Retail sales fell by 0.9% in July compared to the 2007 period when they rose by 1.8%.