July retail sales down 0.3 per cent on 2013, says British Retail Consortium and KPMG

UK retail sales were down 0.3 per cent on a like-for-like basis from July 2013, when they had increased 2.2 per cent on the preceding year.

Retail customer
Retail customer

On a total basis, sales were up 1.3 per cent, against a 3.9 per cent rise in July 2013. The three-month average total sales growth, 1.3 per cent, is below the 12-month average of 2.3 per cent.

Food showed a decline of 1.4 per cent, in contrast with the growth of 0.4 per cent experienced over the last 12 months. Non-food reported growth of 3.4 per cent over the three months to July 2014, in line with its twelve-month average of 3.8 per cent.

Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 14.9 per cent.

Garden retail was down 0.44 per cent in July, according to the Garden Centre Association, but up seven per cent year-to-date.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: "This July we have achieved overall growth of 1.3 per cent year on year, which at first glance compares unfavourably with the 2.3 per cent long-term rate over the last twelve months. However, July last year was a tough month to beat because consumers had really responded well to high profile exciting sporting events and of course, the birth of the royal baby.

"The home categories showed a pick up this month after performing less well in June; furniture reported its highest growth since January excluding Easter distortions and home accessories and house textiles (especially lightweight bedding) all did well. Understandably, outdoor products sold well as did overall toys and baby equipment.

"Non-food online sales continued to show strong growth, the third highest this year, driven notably by furniture, kitchen appliances, gaming and toys."

KPMG retail head David McCorquodale said: "The tale of two sectors continues with polarisation between food and non-food.  While non-food retailers had a stellar month, surpassing even last year’s record sales performance, the grocers saw sales tumble in value as their competitive pricing continued.

"The grocers’ figures continue to make for gloomy reading for the sector.  The impact of their prolonged discounting campaigns may be good news for consumers, but must be being felt deeply by the retailers given like for like sales have fallen in value every month for the last 12 months, save for April when Easter helped sales.  The headache for the grocer investor is the tonic for the consumer: it’s likely these price wars are here to stay for the foreseeable future."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

What new vegetables will gardeners be growing in 2018?

What new vegetables will gardeners be growing in 2018?

Next year is Fleuroselect year of the chilli pepper and Thompson & Morgan and Mr Fothergill's have ranges around the hot vegetable, with a new way of promoting sales.

Garden centre building: what's going up?

Garden centre building: what's going up?

After a lull in new builds, 2018 could see a slight resurgence in garden centres being erected.

Retail seed: crowded market for 2018

Retail seed: crowded market for 2018

Thompson & Morgan is refocusing on the garden centre seed market, hoping to win back business from Mr Fothergill's, which has expanded during T&M's long sale process.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

Our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles