Britain's high street sales posted a surprise jump last month despite hot weather stifling demand for apparel and footwear which fell 1.6 per cent from July, official data revealed on Thursday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said retail sales climbed 0.2 per cent month-on-month thanks to the heatwave which saw food and drink sales sizzle but dampened demand for clothing.

The ONS added sales for the three months to August rose 1.8 per cent on the previous quarter, the biggest hike for more than a year.