The fashion sector led the fastest growth in retail sales in seven years last month, according to new figures released by the British Retail Consortium.
Like-for-like retail sales rose 2.2% and total sales 3.9% in July, the best performance since July 2006.
The sunny weather boosted food and clothing sales while dampening the home categories, including textiles and furniture.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “This is a very solid sales performance, the second best month this year and better than we’ve seen in any July since 2006.
“It has been driven by the warm weather and retailers working hard to offer deep discounts and great offers to their customers, with the reduction in shop prices we reported for July translating into more generous spending in UK stores.”
While the high street enjoyed a much needed boost, online sales slowed by almost half. Internet sales were up by 7.9% in July compared to the same period last year, when they had risen by 15.6%.
“This is still a good level of growth for online sales, but it is a little below trend and not quite as stellar as we saw last month,” said Dickinson.
“We may well have seen people taking advantage of the good weather to spend time outside, rather than staying in to shop online. Many of the same categories performed well online as they did offline. Clothing and Footwear posted good results.”