Retail sales in June grew 1.4 per cent on a like-for-like basis helped by the heatwave across the country and clearance Sales.

The good weather buoyed food sales and helped retailers of clothing, footwear and outdoor leisure products, according to the BRC-KPMG Sales Monitor. Total sales rose 3.2 per cent in the month.

Non-food non-store sales - mail order and online - also benefitted from the hot weather and rose 16.8 per cent on last year.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “June’s sunshine gave overall sales a much-needed boost. The heatwave helped food retailers and got customers buying outdoor goods, such as garden furniture, pools and picnicware.”

He warned however that sales of big ticket items, particularly homewares, continued to struggle.

“Given the uncertainty about jobs, customers are still nervous about spending on more expensive, non-essentials,” said Robertson.