Wet weather causes drop in retail sales

Unusually wet weather in July caused retail sales volumes to drop, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Sales dropped by 1.2 per cent following a rise of 0.6 per cent in June due to the hot weather.

The ONS said many consumers had turned to online shopping and discounts due to the bad weather, with around 27.4 per cent of retail sales taking place online in July, an increase from 26 per cent in June.

The rise in the cost-of-living continued to have an impact on food sales, which declined by 2.6 per cent during the four-week period. The ONS said that supermarkets also reported a drop in clothing sales, adding that non-food store sales volumes dropped by 1.7 per cent.

Commenting the retail sales figures for July, Heather Bovill, ONS deputy director for surveys and economic indicators said that the 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,” explained Bovill. “Department store and household goods sales also dropped significantly.

“The wet weather did mean a good month for online retailing, as discounting plus consumers shopping from the comfort of their homes boosted sales.”

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