The October heatwave hit fashion sales in September with sales suffering their largest fall since August 2009, according to the latest British Retail Consortium-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.
The BRC said the heatwave impacted sales of autumn and winter collections but it did not encourage consumers to snap up summer clothes.
Non-food non-store sales rose by 10.1%, well below the 19.1% growth rate recorded in the same month last year. On a three-month weighted average basis, like-for-likes were down 1.4% and total sales down 0.1%.
“Underlying conditions remain weak,” said BRC director general Stephen Robertson. “As we head into the year’s most important trading period, we need a return of optimism. That requires people to feel that next year they will see some payback for the current pain.”
The BRC said total like-for-like sales rose 0.3% in September while total sales for the month were up 2.5%.