July rain dampens retail sales

18th August 2023 | Jack Oliver

Retail sales volumes fell by 1.2% in July, dampened by an uncharacteristically wet month, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This followed a increase of 0.6% in June, which had seen distinctly better weather.

Food stores sales volumes decreased by 2.6%, as supermarkets reported that wet weather reduced clothing sales. Food sales also fell, as the cost-of-living crisis and higher prices continue to squeeze budgets.

Non-food stores sales volumes fell by 1.7% in July, following an increase of 0.6% in June. Retailers again reported that the fall was due to poor weather reducing footfall.

Many shoppers deterred by the rain opted to shop online, with over a quarter (27.4%) of retail sales taking place online in July, compared to 26% in June.

Heather Bovill, ONS deputy director for surveys and economic indicators, said: “Retail sales fell sharply in July as poor weather impacted most sectors,

“It was a particularly bad month for supermarkets as the summer washout combined with the increased cost of living meant sluggish sales for both clothing and food. Department store and household goods sales also dropped significantly.”


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