London, 2016-Jul-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium. “Retail sales grew in June, albeit with total growth slowing to 0.2 per cent. While sales did slow towards the end of the month, it is too early to define this as a trend. The month outturn was predominantly driven by a decline in sales in the fashion categories and isn’t a surprise given that June 2015 saw record growth in clothing and footwear. Looking across the last three months, food has held its ground with a better performance than non-food sales, which has seen its lowest growth since April 2012, largely due to fashion combined with a slowdown in furniture.
“Britain’s retailers remain open for business. The EU referendum vote has not changed their relentless pursuit of delivering for customers day in, day out or their investment in meeting the needs of fundamental changes in the way people shop, driven by digital and technology. Despite the fall in the pound, the time it takes for any input price increases to translate into higher shop prices will depend on a combination of factors including further changes in the pound, commodity prices and the challenge for retailers to move pricing given the intensity of competition. So, there won’t be any instant shocks as any changes would take time to feed through.”
David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG
“Overall retail figures decelerated in June, with sales down 0.5% on a like-for-like basis. As consumer attention shifted indoors to escape autumnal downpours, furniture and home accessories bounced back in the month, with bigger ticket items proving relatively resilient in the days immediately following the EU referendum.
“With May sunshine a distant memory, however, summer wardrobes remained bare as sales of women’s fashion and footwear plummeted following one of the wettest and dullest starts to a UK summer since records began.
“Elsewhere, Euro 2016 kicked things into gear a bit for the grocers, with sales improving 0.8% in the three months April-June. However, the decline on a like-for-like basis suggests food and drink sales continue to be dragged down by the deflationary tide in the sector.
“While the ramifications from the Brexit vote may well affect consumer confidence, retailers will be hoping the long-promised heatwave and potential stay at home holidays will be enough to drive shoppers back to the high-streets over the months ahead.”
Food & Drink sector performance, Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive, IGD
“The surprise result of the referendum appeared to trigger an immediate drop in food and drink spending, which more than offset some modest sales growth earlier in the month. Hopefully, this will prove to be a short-lived shock and calmer waters lie ahead.
“In data tracked throughout June, 56 per cent of shoppers predicted their personal financial situation would stay the same over the next 12 months, up from 29 per cent anticipating this during January 2011. We will be monitoring this figure closely.”
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