Clothing and footwear sales slowed in June, impacted by a stronger performance in a sunny May - when shoppers were first tempted out to buy summer ranges - and by uncertainty surrounding the emergency Budget.
Lightweight knits, T-shirts, tops, dresses, shorts and swimwear sold well during the month, however customers did not buy heavier knits, trousers and jackets. For footwear, the hot weather boosted sales of sandals and casual shoes but formal and smart shoes were hit. Menswear continued to underperform.
Non-food sales over the three month period from April to June, were flat on a like-for-like basis, while total non-food sales rose 2%, according to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.
Total retail sales across all retail sectors increased 3.4% for the month compared with a 3.2% lift in June 2009.
Retail like-for-likes across all retail sectors rose 1.2% in June as retailers benefitted from the hotter weather and the start of the World Cup.
BRC director general Stephen Robertson said sales growth in June was “decent” particularly against strong comparatives a year ago.
“Summer clothing sold less well than the weather might suggest because many people had bought when the sun first arrived in May,” he said.
He added: “The Budget is affecting confidence but it won’t be until the impact of the measures is actually felt that it really hits spending.”
Clothing sales showed only marginal growth in June, against a good gain in last June’s hot weather. Kidswear continued to outperform due to its nature as an essential purchase, while menswear and womenswear fell behind.
The BRC said that after buying summer clothes in May and facing uncertainty about jobs and incomes, people were more cautious about buying in June, although good deals and clearance discounts attracted many.
Lightweight knits, T-shirts and tops, dresses, shorts and swimwear all sold well but heavier knitwear, trousers and jackets were more difficult. Accessories were mixed, with jewellery, handbags and sunglasses good for some but marked down for others.
Overall sales growth in footwear was weaker than in May but against a stronger comparative a year ago. Kids footwear improved, to show stronger gains than for men’s and women’s, which both slowed after picking up in May.
Sales of sandals and casual shoes, was boosted by the good weather but formal and smart shoes struggled. Clearance sales did well as shoppers, uncertain about future spending power, looked for good deals.
Department stores had a strong month, helped by the sunny weather and earlier summer Sales. Although footfall suffered on the first few sunny days, shoppers took advantage of discounts. Clothing, footwear and outdoor leisure benefited from the sunny weather.
Online and mail order sales grew 17.3% in June, compared to a 21.9% rise in May.