Retail sales rose 0.2% in June, although like-for-likes fell, according to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor. Here’s our sector by sector breakdown.
Food – down
Grocery’s total and like-for-like sales both fell last month. However, the sector reported a 0.8% rise in sales on a three-month basis, its best performance since March 2015, as it overtook non-food sales. Sales of grocery items were also up 0.1% on a 12-month average.
Party food and drinks were in high demand over the month due to the earlier start of Ramadan and the Euro 2016 football tournament, with the latter triggering a spike in sales of world beers.
Clothing – down
After a month of positive sales in May, fashion was the worst performing sales category in June, as an unseasonably wet month discouraged shoppers from buying summer items.
Fashion recorded its worst decline in sales since May 2009 last month, excluding Easter distortions, and recorded its slowest growth since December 2009 on a 12-month basis.
Womenswear was the worst affected as sales of seasonal items stalled, while childrenswear was the most resilient, thanks to the half-term holiday.
Footwear – down
Footwear was the second worst performing category in June and recorded its slowest increase on a 12-month basis since the BRC-KPMG’s records began in 2009.
As was the case within clothing, all segments reported a decline in sales, with women’s shoes being the worst affected and children’s shoes impacted the least. Despite a strong start to the month, wet weather meant footwear retailers struggled to shift seasonal items and clearance stock.
Health and beauty – down
The lack of sunshine and excess rain last month had a significant impact of health and beauty sales, which reported their sharpest decline since April 2009. The sales slide made it the third worst performing category overall.
Poor sales were abated by a good demand for fragrances, particularly around Father’s Day alongside continued growth for make-up and fitness products.
Furniture – up
Furniture sales topped the growth rankings table in June, but this does not give a full picture of the category’s performance last month.
The early inclusion of the half-term in the first week of the month favourably distorted furniture sales, which jumped from the bottom of the growth category table in the previous month.
On a three-month basis furniture recorded its lowest sales average since last February, which will likely be compounded by the drop in consumer confidence around big-ticket purchases following the EU referendum.
That being said, furniture proved surprisingly resilient in the week following Brexit as beds attracted the highest demand.
Home accessories – up
Sales of home accessories came second in the growth rankings table last month as celebrations surrounding the Queen’s 90th birthday stimulated purchases.
Cooking and dining products underperformed against other home accessories, but both segmented reported increased sales overall.
House textiles – up
House textiles returned to positive sales growth last month, although the wet weather meant that indoor items outperformed outdoor products.
Toys and baby equipment – down
Although toys and baby equipment reported an increase in total sales, purchases fell on a like-for-like basis.
As with home textiles, poor weather negatively impacted the demand for outdoor toys compared with last year, but indoor toys and nursery items both performed well.
Household appliances – up
Purchases of household appliances rose last month, but the popularity of fans and air conditioners last year meant that sales of small domestic appliances fell year-on-year. As a result, large appliances drove sales during the period.
Jewellery and watches – up
Jewellery and watches came third on the growth rankings table in June despite a strong comparable performance last year. This impressive result was driven by the run-up to Eid in the final week of the month.
Other non-food – up
Electricals and electronics
There was strong demand for large screen TVs during June as the Euro 2016 football tournament triggered a spurt of discretionary spending. Computer and tablet devices also performed well during the period.
Leisure goods: gaming, books, CDs and DVDs
Stationery was the fourth-strongest performing category in June as sales of Fitbits proved a popular tech purchase for Father’s Day, even cannibalising sales of watches.
Sales of physical books also continued their resurgence, although new releases failed to woo shoppers away from purchasing CDs and DVDs.
Flooding at the end of last month dented shopper traffic to department stores, particularly in the South-East. The North outperformed the South in June overall, with footfall tailing off following the EU referendum and picking back up after payday at the end of the month.