UK: Low prices hit sales values
The British Retail Consortium/KPMG Sales Monitor for July recorded a slight weakening in retail sales growth. Like-for-like sales increased by 2.2 per cent in the year to July, compared with 2.8 per cent increase year-on-year in June. The rate of growth in total sales slowed from 5.2 per cent in June to 4.7 per cent in July and 4.3 per cent in August. The lowest figures since November 1999 were recorded for August. It was also the first time this year that like-for-like sales growth slipped below 2 per cent to 1.7 per cent. The August figures were weak growth figures from a low base, as August 1999 was also a disappointing month.Price deflation and poor weather during much of July combined to dampen sales values.Some retailers began their summer discounting earlier than last year - resulting in a boost to sales in June rather than July. Other retailers began their summer sales at the end of July, which will boost sales growth in August.Internet shopping and factory outlets were two of the better performing formats during August.
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