24 July 2024, 16:48
By Furniture News Jul 09, 2024

Furniture performs well in June, but weather dulls overall consumer spend

While furniture enjoyed positive growth, UK total retail sales decreased by -0.2% YoY in June, against a growth of +4.9% in June 2023, according to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

This was above the three-month average decline of -1.1%, and below the 12-month average growth of +1.5%.

Non-food sales decreased -2.9% YoY over the three months to June, against a growth of +0.3% in June 2023. This was steeper than the 12-month average decline of -1.9%. For the month of June, non-food was in decline YoY.

In-store non-food sales over the three months to June decreased -3.7% YoY, against a growth of +2.0% in June 2023.

Online non-food sales decreased by -0.7% YoY, against an average decline of -1.0% in June 2023. The online penetration rate increased to 36.2%, from 35.2% in June 2023.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), says: “Retail sales performed poorly in June as the cooler weather during the first half of the month dulled consumer spending. Sales of weather-sensitive categories such as clothing and footwear, as well as DIY and gardening were hit particularly hard, especially compared to the surge in spending during last June’s heatwave.

"Retailers remain hopeful that as the summer social season gets into full swing and the weather improves, sales will follow suit."

Linda Ellett, UK head of consumer, Retail & Leisure, KPMG, says: “Summer may finally have arrived, but it did little to persuade consumers to hit the shops, with retail sales flatlining at 0.2% in June.

“Items for the home topped the bestselling categories, with homewares, cooking accessories and furniture all seeing positive growth in June as consumers made the most of the sunshine to enjoy time at home.

“Despite pressure on household finances easing, with petrol and energy costs and shop price inflation all continuing to fall, consumers remain incredibly reluctant to take the brakes off of their spending. The stimulus of good weather, Wimbledon and Euro 24, which was hoped would drive consumer spending, has so far failed to materialise and financial concerns remain with many households.

“Retailers, who are running to stand still at the moment, having exhausted all of the levers they have at their disposal to cut costs and drive sales via promotions, will be looking to the new Government to boost the economy and confidence. The overall economic conditions may slowly be improving, but the health of the sector remains fragile, and action is needed now to help support this vital economic contributor – particularly around neglected areas such as business rate reform.“

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