Flat sales and bad weather disappoint retail in July

Sales in August predicted to be flat despite Olympics
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Poor sales and a lack of consumer confidence are bad news for retailers this summer, says the latest survey by the Confederation of Business Industry (CBI).

While retailer had a third consecutive month of rising year on year sales in July, growth was much slower than expected - 11 per cent compared to 32 per cent.

As we move into August, retailers are predicting disappointingly flat sales.

“Retailers reported an annual rise in sales and orders for the third month in a row, but the increase was far slower than firms had anticipated," commented Judith McKenna, chair of the CBI Distributive Trades Panel and Asda chief operating officer.

“The unprecedented poor weather for the time of year did not help, but retailers also expect conditions to remain tough during August. With consumer confidence weak and wage growth remaining sluggish, the longer term outlook for retailers remains challenging.”

While many had hoped the Olympics would provide a boost to retail activity, this has not appeared to be the case so far. One London IT retailer speaking to PCR commented that they had seen much more of an uptick during the Jubilee compared to the Olympics, which they said had been a bit of a flop for them so far.

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