UK retail sales volumes have declined by 1.2% in July 2023 after growing 0.6% in the previous month, according to data provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figures revealed that sales volumes for food stores also decreased by 2.6% during the month, due to the rising cost of living and food price.

Non-food stores sales volumes in the UK also fell by 1.7% in July 2023, because of the poor weather which reduced footfall.

Sales volumes for household goods stores and department stores fell by 3.8% and 2.9% respectively over the month. Clothing stores registered 2.2% sales volume decline.

During the month, sales volumes of automotive fuel stores rose by 0.7% in July 2023, after a 0.6% fall in June 2023.

Sales volumes for non-store retailing, which primarily comprises of online retailers, picked up pace by growing 2.8% in July 2023, after growing 0.2% in June 2023.

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By GlobalData

In July, 27.4% of retail sales took place online as more shoppers opted to shop online due to poor weather and increased promotions.

British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “July’s poor weather dampened retail sales, with spend stalling in areas such as clothing and footwear and household goods. Weakening consumer confidence also impacted purchases of big ticket items as customers continued to spend more cautiously, especially for computing and furniture. Meanwhile, sales for books and stationery performed better.

“Retailers are hopeful that the coming months will provide a boost to spending, as England fans celebrate the Women’s Football World Cup Final this weekend, families start their back-to-school shopping and university students ready themselves for the new academic year. Nonetheless, the economic backdrop will remain difficult, and Government must find ways to create an environment that fosters economic growth.”