Almost three quarters of high street retailers are on Sale or advertising promotions in their shop windows, up from 40% three years ago.

According to PwC, 73% of retailers were on Sale, compared to 70% last year, with the average price discounts being advertised standing at 47%, up 2% on 2011.

PwC chief retail adviser Christine Cross said: “UK consumers are good at celebrating …..Jubilees, football prowess or potential Olympic glory but they are proving less willing to part with their cash except when the sun comes out or goods go on Sale.”

Cross pointed out that the food sector is having a harder time than clothing or home retailers, with the food retail sector down 20% against the All Share index in the year to date, compared to general retail which is up 13%.

She said: “Clothing purchases are weather related and canny consumers also know mid-June means worried retailers who need to clear stock to leave room for new lines. More troublesome are the food retail trends, with price competition failing to abate amongst the major supermarket groups, fuelling the continued love affair with value and discounted growth.

“Wet holiday weather has also increased the tendency to eat out rather than have domestic BBQs with pubs and fast food chains reporting brisk sales.”

Retailers are hopeful that the Olympics and some late summer sun will boost their third quarter performance, following a lacklustre first half, according to Cross. However, she suspects consumers will remain cautious due to the deepening euro crisis and its unknown impact on the UK.