Retail sales decreased by 0.9% between May and June after the poor weather led to a disappointing month, according to the Office of National Statistics.
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Economists had been predicting a fall of 0.6%. Overall retail sales were up 4.3% year-on-year, but clothing and footwear were the only store types not to experience any sales growth.
Deloitte UK head of retail Ian Geddes said: “In a week when the country has been scrabbling for shade, it is easy to forget June’s damp start to summer. This could have been damaging to retailers’ prospects, and we have already seen deep discounts from those hoping to shift unsold stock. Despite the rain and England’s early exit from the Euros, the UK retail industry has remained remarkably resilient.”
PwC partner Sue Rissbrook added that the appointment of new Prime Minister Theresa May should help boost consumer confidence in the coming months.
“The EU referendum has affected consumer confidence, however, the quick move by the Conservative Party to appoint a new Prime Minister and create a stable government should now have a positive impact.
“In the immediate aftermath of the vote to leave the EU, retailers are looking carefully at their currency exposures and weighing up the opportunities and threats. Retailers in London are already seeing an uptick in demand as sales to tourists rise on the back of the fall in the pound. It should also be good news for UK suppliers as they become more competitive due to import prices rising, many of which are denominated in US dollars.”