Economy

Jewellery and watches ‘best performing’ retail segment in July

Jewellery and watch sales were found to be the best performing sector in July, as overall retail sales picked up.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG Retail Sales Monitor found UK retail sales increase by 1.1% on a like-for-like basis from July 2015 and 1.9% on a total basis.

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On a three-month basis, total UK retail sales rose 1.1% in line with the 12-month average of 1.2%.

The monthly report found jewellery and watches to be the best performing sector – out of 12 – as both like-for-like and total sales increased in the category. It was up from the fifth best performing category in the same month last year and up on its 12-month average of fourth.

The rise in jewellery and watch sales was due to to international consumers taking advantage of the weaker sterling and splashing out on more expensive products.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said: “This month’s solid sales figures may come as a shock to some given the slew of early indicators suggesting that consumer activity was slowing in the wake of the referendum result.

“However, little has materially changed for most UK households in the wake of June 23, so it is not surprising to us that sales are simply responding to their normal underlying drivers.”

Meanwhile, online sales of non-food products jumped 11.2% compared with July 2015 and represented 20.4% of total non-food sales in the UK.

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