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Warm weather boosts fashion spend in June

Fashion retailers experienced a welcome relief in June when the hot temperatures warmed up sales, the BRC-KPMG sales monitor indicates.

In the five weeks to 1 July, like-for-like UK retail sales were up 1.2% compared with 2016, and total retail sales were up 2%.

Over the three months to 1 July, non-food retail sales in the UK increased 0.9% on a like-for-like basis and increased 1.2% on a total basis, above the 12-month total average growth of 0.6%. This is the best three-month average since December, and the first above 1% of the year so far.

Online sales of non-food products grew 10% in June. Over the three months to 1 July, online sales of non-food products grew 8.4% while in-store sales declined 0.7% on a total basis and 1.2% on a like-for-like basis.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium said: “Leisure pursuits and activities spurred consumer spending on summer clothing, beauty products and outdoor toys, which were also boosted by gift purchases over Eid.

“Looking ahead, there’s a question mark over whether this spending momentum will last, as household expenditure is increasingly squeezed from rising inflation and slowing wage growth. The reality is that retailers’ efforts in absorbing mounting cost pressures into their margins are already being tested, so the government must have the consumer front of mind as it enters the UK’s trading negotiations with the EU, to avoid any further cost increases to retailers and their customers.”

Paul Martin, UK Head of Retail, KPMG, added: “After a challenging month in May, retail performance in June appears to have rebounded both online and on the high street. However, while the sunshine may have prevailed this month, retailers would be wise to remain cautious.

“Inflation and household debt are fuelling part of this retail growth, meanwhile the industry is undergoing significant structural changes more broadly. The retailers succeeding are those embracing change.”

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