UK retail like-for-like sales fell 0.8% in June, the lowest growth for three years, according to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.
Even the World Cup couldn’t bring a cheer to the food category in June, when year-on-year growth fell for the second consecutive month. Many of the grocers are committed to slashing prices, so there’s likely to be no sign of improvement in the coming months.
Events such as the World Cup, Wimbledon, Glastonbury and Father’s Day led to strong demand for crisps, confectionery, barbeque packs, beer and sparkling wine. Customers also snapped up convenience products such as quiche and sandwiches during the month.
The tills rang for fashion retailers in June. Clothing proved to be the best performing category last month despite some summer clearance Sales starting later than last year. A few retailers noted that they played their Sale strategies differently to last year, choosing to offer deeper discounts on a small number of products rather than choosing a more widespread approach. Those retailers taht delayed going into Sale, should enjoy a positive effect on margins.
The warmer weather in June started earlier than last year and customers began snapping up seasonal clothing such as shorts, soft trousers and swimwear.
After clothing, footwear was the second-fastest growing category in June, when sandals and canvasses flew off the shelves. Men’s was the best-performing segment.
Health & Beauty ↑
As the hay fever season began, customers picked up health products for allergies and hay fever. There was also demand for products for mosquito bites . Overall June was a fairly good month.Health products had a stronger month than beauty.
The warm weather at the start of the month helped shiftsuncare products and deodorant. Customers also sought out innovative and scientific beauty products.
Furniture sales slowed down a little during June, perhaps a result of the later start of the summer Sales. There was demand for bedroom items.
Home accessories ↓
Home accessories enjoyed a strong month in May but in June there was a small drop in sales and the category delivered the lowest growth of all home categories. Father’s Day gifts and lighting were the only highlights.
House textiles ↑
June’s growth in house textiles was slower than in May but was still driven by demand for light duvets and bedding.
Stationery was recognised as a standalone category in the survey in June for the first time. Football fans’ demand for stickers and albums brought a positive impact.
Toys & baby equipment ↑
Like stationery, toys and baby equipment was also measured for the first time as a core category in the Retail Sales Monitor in June. It came in just behind stationery in terms of growth, helped by the impact of the World Cup.
Other non-food ↑
June didn’t bode well for the other non-food category. The World Cup helped shift TVs for some retailers, but proved disappointing for others. Computing and tablets still made up a large proportion of sales, but the tech products were no longer contributing to growth.
Gaming was cited as a strong contributor to growing retail sales while Glastonbury acts enjoyed strong music sales after the Worthy Farm festival.
Garden furniture and outdoor tools did not sell particularly well in June.
Department stores ↓
Like many other retailers, department stores generally kicked off their summer Sales later in the month than they did last year. “This may have contributed to an overall slowdown of sales but not necessarily of margins,” according to the BRC-KPMG Monitor.
Online retail sales growth slowed in June, when non-food sales were up 10.6% against 12.5% last year. It was the lowest online growth recorded since July 2013.