UK retail like-for-like sales increased 1.4% in June against a 1.4% rise in the same month last year as clothing and footwear performed well.
According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, total sales in the month rose 2.9%, which is just ahead of the year-to-date average of 2.8% and better than the 12-month average of 2.4%.
In real terms, growth was 2.3% over the past six months against 1.5% over the past 12 months, showing the improvement in the sector more recently.
Across the three-month average, food like-for-likes slipped 0.7%, while non-food increased 1.4%.
Meanwhile, June online sales surged 14.1%, which is the best performance since July 2012, excluding Christmas.
BRC director-general Helen Dickinson said: “Despite challenging economic conditions continuing, June saw another strong performance from the UK’s retailers, with very respectable overall growth across the categories. At this halfway point in the year we are able to see that sales are well ahead of the previous six-month period, confirming that the retail recovery is continuing.”
Due to the warmer weather, fashion fared well in the month, while DIY and gardening products also benefited. Shoppers also brought forward purchases that may have been postponed due to the colder weather.
Promotions across electricals helped the category perform well but there were weak sales of TVs as a result of strong comparatives last year when consumers prepared for the Olympics.
KPMG head of retail David McCorquodale said: “This is another respectable performance by UK retailers. Sales are moving in the right direction, albeit hard-earned and promotion driven. The statistics are all the more creditable as last year’s sales included a Jubilee boost.
“Retailers will hope that the arrival of a royal baby will deliver a feel-good lift to sales this month, as consumers stock up on Champagne and commemorative items. While this temporary uplift won’t transform the fortunes of the UK retail sector, a mini memorabilia bonanza would still raise some much needed cash for retailers’ coffers, putting them on a stronger footing as they restock stores with autumnal ranges.”