Retail sales in the UK experienced a 1.2% decline in July, largely attributed to unfavorable weather affecting summer clothing purchases and rising living costs impacting food shoppers, as reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Supermarkets bore the brunt of the slump due to a dampened summer and increased expenses leading to sluggish sales for clothing and food.
Department stores also witnessed reduced demand for household goods amid the challenging economic landscape. Comparatively, retail sales’ value was 16.4% higher than in February 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic, though the volume of goods purchased dropped by 1.8%.
Despite an overall slowdown in inflation to 6.8%, food prices continue to rise significantly. This data highlights the intricate interaction between weather, inflation, and consumer behavior impacting the retail sector.