UK retail sales values were down by 0.4% on a
like-for-like basis from August 2011, when they were down 0.6% on the preceding
year. On a total basis, sales were up 1.6%, against a 1.5% rise in August 2011.
Excluding the Easter anomaly, these were both the lowest since November 2011,
driven by particularly weak non-food sales as the feelgood factor from the
Olympics failed to inspire spending, according to the lobby group, the British
There was a mild boost to food sales in the form of party food and drink, but
the net effect of the Games was minimal as lower footfall in London was offset
by a better performance in the rest of the country.
The most noticeable impact from the Olympics was felt online which saw growth of
just 4.8% in August - the lowest since the Monitor started collecting data on
this in October 2008.
Stephen Robertson, director general, British Retail Consortium, said: "There's
no evidence here of any Olympic boost to retail sales overall. Sadly, apart from
April - distorted by Easter timings - August saw the worst sales growth this
"Hot weather and the Olympics did help sales of party food and drink but that
was more than offset by a really weak performance for non-food goods.
"It's clear people were absorbed by the magnificent Olympics and had little
interest in shopping, especially for major items. Usually-reliable online sales
suffered, putting in the worst sales growth since we started the measure four
years ago. Some retailers told us online activity was particularly thin in the
evenings. If people weren't watching television they were more likely to be
following the sport on PCs and mobile devices than shopping.
"As summer gives way to the all-important Christmas run-up, retailers will be
hoping sales that didn't happen in August have been postponed and not lost
Check out our new
subscription service, Finfacts Premium
, at a low annual charge of €25 - - if
you are a regular user of Finfacts, 50 euro cent a week is hardly a huge ask to
support the service.
It's a simple fact that in the
prevailing economic climate, the provision of high quality content cannot be
sustained through advertising alone.
Business executives who put a
premium on time and value high quality information, should use our service.