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Wet Weather Affected July Retail Sales

People shopping centre escalator - IR Stone - shutterstock_237523528

The ONS has published retail sales data for July. 

  • Retail sales volumes are estimated to have fallen by 1.2% in July 2023 following a rise of 0.6% in June 2023 (revised from an increase of 0.7%).

  • When compared with their pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) level in February 2020, total retail sales were 16.4% higher in value terms, but volumes were 1.8% lower

  • Food stores sales volumes fell by 2.6% in July 2023, with supermarkets reporting that the wet weather reduced clothing sales, although food sales also fell back; retailers indicated that the increased cost of living and food prices continued to affect sales volumes.

  • Non-food stores sales volumes fell by 1.7% in July 2023, following a rise of 0.6% in June 2023; retailers reported that the fall over the month was because of poor weather reducing footfall.

  • Within non-food stores, household goods stores reported a monthly fall in sales volumes of 3.8% because of a fall in furniture and lighting stores.

  • Department stores sales volumes fell by 2.9% over the month, while clothing stores fell by 2.2%.

  • The other non-food stores sub-sector rose by 0.7% over the month because of an increase in other retail sales of new goods, such as sales in art galleries and auction houses.

  • Automotive fuel stores sales volumes rose by 0.7% in July 2023, following a fall of 0.6% in June 2023.

  • Non-store retailing sales volumes rose by 2.8% in July 2023; online retailers suggested that a range of promotions boosted sales.

  • Shoppers switching to online shopping because of poor weather and increased promotions led to 27.4% of retail sales taking place online in July 2023, up from 26.0% in June 2023; this is the highest proportion since February 2022 (28.0%).

  • Online spending values rose by 4.1% in July 2023 while the value of retail sales as a whole fell, because of strong growth in non-store retailing and other non-food stores. Because of this the proportion of online sales rose to 27.4% in July 2023 from 26.0% in June 2023 and remains significantly above the pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic levels (19.6% in February 2020).

Source : ONS 

Image : IR Stone / (237523528)

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18 August 2023

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