Retail news round-up on July 30, 2015: July retail sales growth decelerates, Bonmarché like-for-like decline improves in first quarter

Retail Week Breakfast Briefing

Retail sales growth slows in July

The annual retail sales growth in the UK decelerated last month, in spite of a huge increase in clothing purchases. According to the Confederation of British Industry, the balance was +21 in July, compared with +29 in June.

Clothing sales grew at the fastest annual rate since January, but food sales were flat and shoe sales were down, the survey revealed.

The outlook for sales in August was even gloomier, with the index dropping to a two-year low of +13 from +33.

Bonmarché like-for-like decline improves in first quarter ‘despite inconsistent weather’

Bonmarché like-for-likes slipped 0.7% in the 13 weeks to June 27, an improvement on the fall of 3.3% recorded in the previous quarter.

The value womenswear retailer’s like-for-likes in stores dropped 1.7%, down on the 13.5% rise recorded this time last year, but an improvement on the 4.7% decline reported in the previous quarter.

Bonmarché turnover was up 3.8%.  Online sales increased 11.4%.

Bonmarché said its financial position remains sound and the board’s expectations for the full year are unchanged.

Bonmarché chief executive Beth Butterwick said: “We have made a solid start to the new financial year. Our like-for-like run rate shows an improvement compared to the previous quarter, despite inconsistent spring and early summer weather.

“We continue to make progress with the execution of our strategic initiatives. We are listening to our customers’ feedback, based on which, our plans will evolve. At this early stage the Board remains confident of achieving its expectations for the year.”