Retail sales fell in July compared with a steady rise in June as wet weather took its toll, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).


Wet weather impacted footfall in July 

Sales by value increased 1.1% in July year on year but decreased 1% month on month as damp weather conditions impacted sales and footfall.

Sales by volume decreased 3.2% year on year and 1.2% from June to July.

Food store sales volume fell by 2.6% in July as supermarkets blamed the wet weather for a fall in sales of clothing and the increased cost of living for a fall in food sales.

Total non-food store sales volume decreased by 1.7% in July compared with a rise of 0.6% in June.

As consumers switched to online shopping in the month due to bad weather, 27.4% of retail sales took place online in July 2023, up from 26% in June, representing the highest proportion since February this year. 


Kelly Askew, Accenture’s retail strategy and consulting lead for the UK and Ireland, said: “The unseasonably grey weather took its toll on retail sales last month.

“Retailers will be disappointed that not even the usual draw of holiday shopping could maintain the sales growth we saw earlier in the summer.

“Businesses will hope that the already warmer weather in August, combined with news this week that inflation continues to slow, will bring some optimism for their top line.

“However, with consumer purses still feeling the squeeze, they cannot afford to rest on their laurels and expect the milder temperatures alone to tempt people to part with their cash.

“For most consumers, value remains the number one priority. Retailers need to cater to that by stocking the right products in the right places and offering the best promotions possible – but this is only feasible if their internal efficiencies are up to scratch as well.”