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BRC: Retail sales down 0.6% in June

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by Kay Mitchell

Retail sales fell in June as households continue to be squeezed by higher inflation and rising unemployment.

According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)/KPMG retail sales monitor, sales fell by 0.6% on an underlying basis last month, while total sales (including VAT) rose 1.5%.

Food sales growth eased a little last month but a strong performance was noted in homewares, the report showed.

The poor performance on the High Street comes as well-known retailers, including Habitat, Jane Norman and TJ Hughes, have been forced into administration.

Furthermore, Mothercare, Thorntons and HMV all announced store closures last month.

BRC Director General Stephen Robertson comments: “Given June’s spate of shop-closure announcements and weak company results, these figures are not as bad as they could have been, but it shows just how tough times are… Sales continue to be under huge pressure from the squeeze on disposable incomes produced by rising inflation and low wage growth.”

Finally, according to accountancy firm Ernst & Young, retailers have issued more profit warnings in the first half of this year than throughout the whole of 2010.

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News posted: July 12, 2011

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