UK retail sales values last month were up 3.9%, against a 2% increase in July 2012 – the fastest July growth since 2006, according to research from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG.
The sunny weather boosted the food and fashion categories while dampening the home categories – furniture & flooring, home accessories and house textiles – as well as internet sales.
Online sales were up 7.9% compared with July 2012, when they rose by 15.6%.
BRC Director General Helen Dickinson said: “This is a very solid sales performance: the second best month this year and better than we’ve seen in any July since 2006.
“It’s been driven by the warm weather and retailers working hard to offer deep discounts and great offers to their customers, with the reduction in shop prices translating into more generous spending in UK stores.
“While we know that the picture is still variable and the High Street in particular continues to face considerable challenges, these positive results will be welcomed in town centres around the country that depend so much on retailers performing well.”
KPMG Head of Retail David McCorquodale added: “July was a golden month for retail sales and marks a return to form for British retailers. Hopefully this uptick in sales is another indication that the UK economy has turned the corner towards growth.
“Murray mania, summer sun and the arrival of the royal baby gave consumers that much needed feel good factor, encouraging them to leave caution behind and help retailers put in a champion performance.”