Retail sales in the UK registered a 1.3% decline in June 2019 compared with a 2.3% increase during the same period last year, latest data has revealed.
According to the BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor, this decline, which is an all-time low since 1995, resulted in a 0.1% drop in the 3-month average and a 0.6% increase in the 12-month average.
On a like-for-like basis, UK retail sales decreased by 1.6% in June 2019. Last year, it increased by 1.1% year-on-year during the same period.
This figure is lower than the 3-month and 12-month averages of -0.4% and -0.1% respectively and represents the worst 12-month average since April 2012, the study found.
'Fewer Impulse Purchases'
Chief executive of the BRC, Helen Dickinson OBE, commented, "June sales could not compete with last year’s scorching weather and World Cup, leading to the worst June on record.
"Sales of TVs, garden furniture and BBQs were all down, with fewer impulse purchases being made," she added.
In the three months to June, in-store sales of non-food items dropped 4.1% on a like-for-like basis, while food sales increased 4.1%.
In the online segment, the sales of non-food products grew by 4.0% in June, with 3-month and 12-month average growth of 3.3% and 5.0% respectively.
In June of last year, online sales in the same category grew by 8.5%.
Partner and UK Head of Retail at KPMG, Paul Martin, said, "With 4% online growth, shoppers were thankfully more engaged in this channel, making the most of the added convenience and continued aggressive pricing.
"Fashion performed particularly well thanks to end-of-season sales and upcoming holidays," he added.
Food And Grocery Sector
IGD chief Executive, Susan Barratt, said that despite a late start to summer compared to 2018, the situation is "still encouraging" for food and grocery sales.
"If the recent pick up in temperatures is sustained, there’s hope for stronger figures in July," she explained.
However, Dickinson points out that the uncertainty over Brexit will have an impact on both consumers and businesses.
"The continued risk of a no deal Brexit is harming consumer confidence and forcing retailers to spend hundreds of millions of pounds putting in place mitigations – this represents time and resources that would be better spent improving customer experience and prices."
'Preservation And Adaptation'
Martin opines that pressure on retailers will mount from the economic, geopolitical, environmental and behavioural perspective.
"Consumer spending is only likely to fall further as things stand, and cost efficiency remains vital," he said.
"The focus for most in the industry will be preservation and adaptation in order to see them through these tough times."
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.