The British Retail Consortium has published data suggesting sports and good weather boosted retail performance during July - contrasting with yesterday’s report from BDO.
Murray mania, the summer sun and the arrival of the royal baby fuelled a feel good factor as clothing sales soared and retailers reported their best July in seven years, the British Retail Consortium has said.
Across the UK, retail sales values were up 2.2% on a like-for-like basis compared to July last year. On a total basis sales were up 3.9% against a 2% rise in July 2012, the fastest growth in July since 2006. Online sales were up 7.9% compared with July 2012, when they had risen by 15.6%.
Clothing was the top performing non-food category as summer Sales attracted shoppers and summer ranges were in tune with the weather. Swimwear, dresses, blouses and synthetic bags were all high in demand. With womenswear was the strongest segment closely followed by menswear, with shorts and casual jerseys selling well.
The retailers that had already cleared their spring stock and bought in autumn ranges suffered from low interest and kidswear sales were also disappointing.
Sandals benefitted from the hot weather with some retailers recording their best July for five years. However as summer shoes are lower priced than autumn footwear the sales growth compared to the cold July last year was moderate.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “It has been driven by the warm weather and retailers working hard to offer deep discounts and great offers to their customers, with the reduction in shop prices we reported for July translating into more generous spending in UK stores.”
However these BRC figures contradict the latest data from BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker, which reported that fashion sales were down 1.1% for the four weeks to July 28.
The monthly report said Andy Murray’s success in Wimbledon, as well the Lions Rugby tour and the Ashes kept consumers occupied and away from shops, while the weather tempted people into the parks.