Retail news round-up: Hot summer drags down August sales, Metro board approves business split, and Sainsbury’s food waste report

August retail sales down due to hot summer and Olympics

Retail like-for-likes slipped 0.9% in August, mainly due to hot summer weather and Team GB's success at the Rio Olympic Games, which distracted shoppers from spending.

Total sales dropped 0.3% year-on-year last month, recording its weakest performance since September 2014, according to the British Retail Consortium-KPMG survey.

Total food sales surged 0.9% between June and August, its highest level outside of the Easter period since December 2013.

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said the success of Team GB brought a feel-good factor to the UK, but this failed to translate into stronger sales.

"Consumers were enticed towards leisure and outdoor activities rather than shopping, although food did post its strongest performance in more than two years; fuelled by demand for picnic, barbecue supplies and celebratory drinks."

Speaking about the retail sales monitor, KPMG’s head of retail David McCorquodale said sales of women's fashion performed poorly despite widespread promotions.

Metro Group’s board approves demerger plans

German retailer Metro has decided to press ahead with its plans to split into separate wholesale food and consumer electronics businesses, the Financial Times reported.

The conglomerate said it could pull off the demerger without a capital increase.

Metro’s chief executive Olaf Koch said the supervisory board had approved the split, and that the organisational division would occur from September 30.

Under the demerger plans, the formal split and public listing of both groups is planned for mid-2017.

Koch said: “The developments of the past few months have confirmed our belief that these two entities with hardly any operational overlaps and synergies will be even more successful when operating independently.”

Sainsbury’s survey shows only 3% ashamed at wasting food

Sainsbury’s research report has found that only 3% of UK adults feel ashamed at wasting food, The Guardian reported.

The survey of food waste habits revealed that a vast majority of people fail to see the value of watching out for food waste, compared with other money-saving habits such as switching off lights or turning down the heating.

According to the poll of more than 5,000 UK householders, 74% actively switch off lights when they leave a room and 55% turn down the heating.

Collectively, these changes would help save £305 a year, which is less than half of the £700 a typical family wastes on food that goes uneaten and is thrown away.