16 August 2018


There were two types of fans “keeping up” the retail sales statistics during July 2018, as warm World Cup supporters shopped in food stores – and picked up a few coolers on the way home.

The key findings from the Retail Statistics showed:

  • In July 2018, the quantity bought increased by 0.7% when compared with the previous month, recovering from a decrease of 0.5% in June 2018.
  • When compared with the same month a year earlier, the quantity bought in July 2018 increased by 3.5% when compared with the slower growth of 1.1% in July 2017.
  • The quantity bought in non-store retailing showed strong growth both on the month and year-on-year at 4.9% and 16.9% respectively.
  • Feedback from non-store retailers suggested that online promotions further encouraged sales, while non-food stores reported a reduction in footfall in July 2018.
  • Spending online continued to increase to reach a new record proportion of all retailing at 18.2% in July 2018; with strong growth in department stores also reaching a record proportion at 18.2%.

Phil Mullis, Partner and Head of Retail and Wholesale at top-20 UK accountancy firm, Wilkins Kennedy, said: “Retail sales for July 2018 have been quite good, which is surprising given the rather dull figures in June.

“The warm weather has brought more people outdoors enjoying their summer barbeques, so they have been spending out in the grocery sector. Chances are, with the World Cup on television and England doing so well, even more celebrations were had that contributed overall to the increase in the amount bought, particularly in the grocery sector.

“However, it is no accident that some hardware stores, such as B&Q, are also reporting a bumper sales month, presumably because people are buying fans to keep cool in the house. It seems more than one type of fan has helped bump up the sales figures during July!

“Online sales continue to grow, but with a backdrop of many larger high street retailers closing their doors for the last time, now is more important than ever for retailers to ensure they have a strong multi-channel offering. This is particularly important as we look forward to August’s sales figures, as inflation increases could see wages squeezed again. As a result, people may be less certain about any discretionary spend – but when they do spend, retailers need to be ready to cater to their needs in any way possible.”

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