Retail sales down slightly in August

Growth in British retail sales eased slightly in August, but online performance was at its strongest this year, industry data has shown.

The total value of retails sales was up 3.6% higher in August than a year ago, compared to 3.9% in July.

The British Retail Consortium said that while growth was broad based, home categories were the best performers, rebounding from July, and food was the slowest category.

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Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 15% in August versus a year earlier, on a weighted basis, representing its best performance this year.

In July, online sales were up by 7.9% in July compared to the same period last year, when they had risen by 15.6%.

BRC director Helen Dickinson commented: “Online sales had a strong showing in August, comparing well against a fairly weak July and a record low the previous year, when hearts and minds were captured more by sporting triumphs than shopping."

“Many of us spent less time outdoors than in July and more time browsing and buying end-of-summer offers and new Autumn ranges. These factors elevated online sales growth to more positive territory well above the twelve-month average,” added Dickinson.

In August 2012, the unweighted RSM non-food non-store indicator had increased by 4.8% over the previous year, the lowest online growth ever recorded, due to the Olympics distracting shoppers from browsing, the BRC said.




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