Clothing and footwear sales were hit hard in August, when UK retail like-for-like sales fell 0.1% as shoppers stayed away from the high street due to wet weather.
Clothing and footwear sales were adversely impacted, after two months of better sales helped by the heatwave and clearance Sales.Total sales rose 2.2%, against a 1.4% rise in August 2008, according to the British Retail Consortium - KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.
Summer Sale ranges cleared well on sunny days but consumers postponed buying autumn 09 clothes. Transitional pieces such as light knitwear, leggings, long-sleeve tops and cardigans sold best and casual ranges continued to outperform formal. Kidswear outperformed adult fashion, boosted by back-to-school.
Footwear sales fell back below August 08 levels after good growth in June and July. Ankle boots and work shoes sold well and casuals continued to outperform formal. Premium and value brands sold better than middle market.
In the three months to August, retail like-for-likes rose 1.1%, while total sales grew 3%. Sales in online, mail order and telesales increased 7.9% — the weakest rise since May.
BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “The stronger figures of June and July haven’t been sustained. It’s clear the deceptively good sales growth of those months was due to summer sun and price cuts – not any major revival in how customers are feeling. What spending we now have is all about value and essentials.”