Soggy Spending In June

Posted on Jul 10, 2024. by NTI

Total retail sales reportedly fell by 0.2% in June 2024, compared with growth of 4.9% in June 2023, according to the latest statistics from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG.

This was blamed on the continued cold, wet weather and continued cost-of-living pressures, primarily leading to fewer purchases in clothing and DIY stores.

Chief Executive of the BRC, Helen Dickinson said that “Retail sales performed poorly in June as the cooler weather during the first half of the month dulled consumer spending. Sales of weather-sensitive categories such as clothing and footwear, as well as DIY and gardening, were hit particularly hard, especially compared with the surge in spending during last June’s heatwave.”

On the other hand, we have apparently been splashing out on a new TV for Euro 2024 (or Love Island), as TVs, laptops and computers were one of the few brighter sales areas.

KPMG have also noticed an increase in homewares, cooking accessories and furniture, as people have swapped dining out for cooking at home (and presumably accompanying those meals with some Jack Grealish-endorsed Hellmann’s mayonnaise). As a result, restaurants reported a tough month, with reduced sales of 11.5% compared to 2023, but an improvement on May’s year-on-year figures of 15.7%. Pubs, bars and clubs reported modest growth of 0.5%, boosted by the Euros.

Food sales rose by 1.1% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2024, against growth of 9.8% in the same period in 2023. Food price inflation fell to 1.7% in June, its lowest level since October 2021.

Supermarket spending fell by 2.6% in June, which was the first drop for two years. 65% of Britons were found to have cut back on their weekly grocery spending, with many reportedly looking out for loyalty scheme discounts and supermarket deals.

Overall consumer card spending fell by 0.6 per cent year-on-year in June, Barclays found, the first decline since February 2021.

Karen Johnson, head of retail at Barclays, said: “Once again, our data demonstrates the undeniable impact that unseasonable weather can have on consumer spending. However, the dreariness didn’t dampen spending across the board, with takeaways, digital content and entertainment all benefiting from people sheltering at home. Hopefully we’ll see sustained interest in the Euros and sunnier weather driving people to their local in July.”

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