Total UK retail sales registered the lowest increase since 1995 last month, up just 0.3% on July 2018.
It follows a dismal June, which saw total retail sales fall by 1.3% - the worst 12-month average in 14 years.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KMPG Retail Sales Monitor also shows like-for-like retail sales were up 0.1% year on year in July.
Online sales of non-food products meanwhile rose 3.7% - just one percentage point below the 12-month average. British Retail Consortium CEO Helen Dickinson said this proves that it is not just the high street suffering.
She added: “While retailers will welcome the return to growth, it has been a punishing few months for the industry.
“The combination of slow real wage growth and Brexit uncertainty has left consumer spending languishing.
“…The challenging retail environment is taking its toll on many high street brands… A coherent strategy for retail is needed. The government should freeze future business rates rises and fix the appeals system before embarking on a wholesale reform of this broken tax system.”
For the three months to July, like-for-like non-food retail sales fell by 2% and by 4% for in-store sales.