Retail sales increased by 3.4% in June, against a decrease of 1.6% in June 2019, marking the first signs of growth registered since the UK lockdown began.
This is according to the latest BRC–KPMG retail sales monitor, which found that the increase in retail sales to be above the three-month average decline of 6.4% and the 12 month average decline of 2.1%.
UK retail sales also increased 10.9% on a like-for-like basis from June 2019, when they had decreased 2.2% from the preceding year.
However, over the three months to June, in-store sales of non-food items declined 46.8% on a total and 11.3% on a like-for-like basis. This is worse than the 12-month total average decline of 16.5%.
Despite this, food sales increased 7.3% on a like-for-like basis and 3.8% on a total basis during the three months to June 2020.
Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, said: “June saw pent up consumer demand released, with total sales finally back in positive territory – up 3.4% on the same month last year.
“While the easing of social distancing restrictions is of course welcome news, the challenges and longer-term consequences for the industry have far from disappeared, and not all categories of retail are benefitting from this post-lockdown boom.”
He added: “Fashion sales haven’t rebounded quite as impressively though, despite reports of increased interest from those prepared to queue to enter stores. Online sales – while still in a high gear – are cooling a little as high street activity picks up again slowly and cautiously.
“That said, whether consumers will forego the convenience of online shopping now that they’ve become accustomed to it, remains a fundamental question for the future.”