UK retail like-for-like sales were up 0.3% year-on-year in September, but clothing sales were hit hard by hot weather, according to new figures.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC)-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor data released today (11 October) showed a rise in total sales of 2.5% on last September, compared to a 2.2% increase last year.

Meanwhile, non-food non-store (internet, mail order and phone) sales growth fell back on August’s figures, rising 10.1% compared to a 12.6% increase last month and a 19.1% hike last September.

“In these harsh times, we have to be thankful for this minor improvement in growth compared with August, but underlying conditions remain weak,” said Stephen Robertson, BRC director general.

“Spending growth is below inflation, meaning customers are buying less than this time last year.”

Helen Dickinson, head of retail at KPMG, pointed out that, despite the weak performance from the clothing sector, schoolwear and shoes did well, thanks to the start of the new academic year.

She said: “As we are entering the crucial season in the run-up to Christmas, the outlook may be described as ‘hopeful’, but that’s as good as it gets, I am afraid.”