29 May 2024, 03:31
By Furniture News Aug 08, 2023

Slow retail sales growth in July, but furniture flourishes online

Slowing price inflation and wet weather held back retail sales in July, reports BRC-KPMG.

Total retail sales increased by +1.5% YoY (against +2.3% in July 2022), while LFL retail sales increased by +1.8%.

Non-food saw a YoY decline, with online non-food sales down -6.9%. The proportion of non-food items bought online decreased to 34.7% (from 35.3% in July 2022). 

The furniture category topped BRC-KPMG's online sales growth leaderboard, up from 7th spot in June – and from 9th position YoY.

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), says: “The slowing pace of retail price inflation fed through into slower sales this July. Spend was further depressed by the damp weather, which did no favours to sales of clothing, and other seasonal goods. Online spending was down again YoY as the post-Covid trend back to stores continued, leading to the lowest proportion of non-food sales online since the pandemic began.  

“While consumer confidence is generally improving, it remains below longer-term levels."

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, adds: “As the storm clouds came out, shoppers retreated, with LFL sales growth a dismal +1.5% up in July. Furniture, food and drink were the bestsellers on the high street, whilst the wet weather meant no need to restock summer wardrobes, with all categories of clothing falling into negative sales territory, in what is usually a busy month for clothing retailers. Online sales continued to slide, falling nearly -7% YoY, with just a handful of categories such as furniture, health and beauty performing well. 

“We are starting to see a big rise in the number of promotions that retailers are putting in place in order to get shoppers through the door, as they battle to keep market share. Price-conscious consumers are shopping more carefully, more aware of where bargains can be found and what they are getting for their money – which is biting hard into retail margins and profitability. UK consumers have been hugely resilient throughout the cost of living crisis, but stubbornly high inflation coupled with rapidly rising interest rates will test their ability and willingness to keep on spending for the rest of this year. Both consumers and retailers are finding that they are having to get used to doing more with less as conditions remain incredibly challenging."

© 2013 - 2024 Gearing Media Group Ltd. All Rights Reserved.