Jubilee boost to sales short-lived, says BRC

Jubilee boost to sales short-lived, says BRC

June saw UK retail sales rising 1.4% year-on-year on a like-for-like basis, with sales up 3.5% on a total basis, according to figures released by the British Retail Consortium.

Sales were strongest at the start of the month, amid the Jubilee celebrations, with the remainder of June "more challenging throughout the sector" with consumers' underlying caution about the economy blamed. Online sales of non-food items showed stronger growth, up 12.1% against growth of 11.5% last year.

Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, called the sales rise in early June "the bunting boost", attributing it to the feelgood lift of the Jubilee. But he warned: "It's clear a permanent upturn in confidence and spending has yet to happen."

Helen Dickinson, KPMG head of retail, also warned that the forthcoming Olympics might not provide a significant boost to non-food sales: "Retailers are fervently hoping that the summer of sport will raise cash for their coffers. But the reality is that any benefit from the Olympics will probably be concentrated in the South East and provide more of a boost for food than non-food," she commented. "Overall there will be plenty of hype, a short term blip of benefit, and then back to normality and the challenges that brings."