Online sales soar as retail sector enjoys bumper summer
Thursday 8th August, 2013
July's hot weather sparked a boom in retail sales this summer as consumers rushed out to buy sports equipment, barbeques, new clothes and food and drink.
Sales were up close to four per cent in July, the best growth since 2006, according to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.
The sunny weather boosted the food and fashion categories while dampening the home categories - furniture & flooring, home accessories and house textiles.
Online sales were up 7.9 per cent compared with July 2012 as sporting success and royal baby excitement saw Brits splashing out online throughout the month.
Sportsmen and women stocked up sports equipment, inspired by Andy Murray's Wimbledon tennis exploits and Chris Froome's victory on the bikes at the Tour de France.
For the less sporty among us, a few British successes were the perfect excuse to celebrate.
Sales of food and drink soared as consumers popped open the bubbly and held barbecues to celebrate the royal family's newest arrival, Murray's Wimbledon triumph and the beautiful summer weather.
"Food has performed very strongly, with summer barbecue ingredients and feel-good foods doing well during a month where the Lions, Murray, Chris Froome in the Tour de France and the start of the Ashes series all contributed to the positive summer feeling," says Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium.
Meanwhile, parents splashed out even more than normal on in the children's and baby sector following the birth of Prince George, resulting in a bumper month for clothes sales.
David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, noted that a lot of the increase in sales was "heavily driven by discounting", which combined with the rise in online sales, indicates savvy shoppers are turning to sites like Shopping Nerd to bag a bargain.
â€ªHe added: "With autumn ranges now hitting the shelves, retailers need some cooler weather to encourage consumers to treat themselves to some new winter woollies. If they get these new ranges right and suitable weather, it could be game, set and match."
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