Declining consumer confidence has led to a slowdown in sales of non-food items, according to the British Retail Consortium.
Although overall sales rose by 0.5 per cent year-on-year, non-food sales growth – particularly TV sales, which saw a boost during the World Cup – slowed down, with online and phone order sales showing their slowest growth in a year.
“These are poor results for non-food retailing, with some sectors actually seeing sales falls. The vitality has even faded from online sales growth,” said the BRC’s director general Stephen Robertson.
Robertson’s concerns were echoed by the head of retail at KPMG, Helen Dickinson: “Once again it’s the non-food sector which is finding the environment particularly challenging. A jittery housing market and warm weather drove home-related sectors into negative like-for-like territory.
“Summer sales, some of which started earlier this year, did little to entice consumers back in any decisive way as confidence has been affected by concerns over the future impact of fiscal changes – but spending at least continues to hold up and is likely to continue to do so, at least until the effects of Government measures begin to hit people’s pockets.”