Retail sales growth slows as the hot weather cools, figures show

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5th September 2018 16:16 - Retail

Retail sales growth slows as the hot weather cools: After a period of spending during the summer heatwave, UK consumers have started to hold back according to the latest figures from KPMG.
The British Retail Consortium - KPMG sales monitor (RSM) reveals total sales were a marginal 1.3% higher than in August last year, compared with an annual growth rate of 1.6% in July and 2.4% in August 2017 - despite spending on back-to-school goods and grocery sales. 
Back-to-school inspired spending on kids’ clothes and computers although sales of stationery, adult clothes and footwear were not as lucrative.
Don Williams, a retail partner at KPMG said that spending in retail overall ‘held up in August’ but it was ‘only just’. 
The latest BRC report shows the trend of weak retail growth continuing and suggests limited disposable income has prevented some consumers from purchasing goods beyond grocery items. 
Joanne Denny-Finch, Chief Executive of IGD said that as the hot weather abated in August, food and drink sales slowed, adding that time will tell whether the dip in spending was just a ‘blip’ or whether it is a result of consumers feeling the ‘squeeze on real incomes’. 
“From our conversations with shoppers we don’t see next year’s Brexit transition influencing food shopping behaviours yet,” she said. 
“Six in ten shoppers say they focus more on day-to-day living rather than thinking about the future.”
Away from in-store purchasing, online non-food sales grew in August by 7.5%. 

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