The volume of retail sales in July was 3.3% higher than in July last year as deep discounting drove sales.

According to The Office of National Statistics (ONS) total sales volumes in the three months to July were 1.6% higher than the same period in 2008. Between June and July total sales volumes increased 0.4%.

Sales volumes for predominantly food stores grew 2% year on year in July. Across textiles, clothing and footwear sales were up 10.3 per cent driven mainly by clothing. Hardware stores helped household goods retailers to grow sales volumes 1.3% on last year. 

Richard Lowe head of retail and wholesale at Barclays Commercial Bank said: “Consumers have flooded to the high street at the sight of this summers sunshine. Although it may not have been the barbecue summer we were all promised, the public rushed to snap-up the sales bargains in July. Valiant retailers have been enticing customers with stronger than usual seasonal discounting, driving footfall and sales.

He added: “The healthy increase year on year, and over the last three months, confirms that figures are moving in the right direction. After bottoming-out recently, today’s increases will encourage many struggling high street businesses. There is however a mixed message across the entire sector and household goods have firmly been off shoppers recent purchasing agenda. Having bought their new clothes they’ve turned their attention outdoors instead of to equipping their homes. Household goods retailers will therefore be looking to the upcoming August bank holiday sales to catch the eye of the consumer.”