UK Retail Sales Experience 1.2% Dip in July 2023

Retail sales in the United Kingdom witnessed a decline of 1.2% in July 2023, following a 0.6% increase in June 2023 (revised from 0.7%). This downturn was primarily attributed to the dampened performance of food stores, which saw sales volumes drop by 2.6% in July. Supermarkets reported that the inclement weather negatively impacted both clothing and food sales.

Non-food stores also faced a setback, with sales volumes dropping by 1.7% in July, after a modest rise of 0.6% in June. Retailers attributed this decrease to the poor weather conditions affecting footfall. However, there was a slight resurgence in automotive fuel stores sales volumes, which increased by 0.7% in July after a 0.6% fall in June.

On a more positive note, non-store retailing, largely driven by online retailers, experienced a growth of 2.8% in July. This surge was attributed to various promotional activities in the online space. Shifting consumer behavior due to unfavorable weather and increased promotions led to 27.4% of retail sales occurring online in July 2023, a rise from 26.0% in June 2023. This marked the highest proportion since February 2022 (28.0%).

It’s noteworthy that these trends are based on official data from the Office for National Statistics in the UK.