Indeed, the three-month average total sales growth, 1.3 per cent, is below the 12-month average of 2.3 per cent, according to British Retail Consortium (BRC). But then again, July last year was a tough month to beat due to sporting events and of course, the birth of the royal baby. Furniture was the best performing category, reporting its highest growth since January, excluding Easter distortions. Helen Dickinson, director general, British Retail Consortium, said: “The home categories showed a pick up this month after performing less well in June; furniture reported its highest growth since January and home accessories and house textiles (especially lightweight bedding) all did well. Understandably, outdoor products sold well as did overall toys and baby equipment.” Meanwhile, food was the worst performing category and experienced its deepest three-month average decline since BRC records began in December 2008. She is partly explained by the continuing supermarket price wars. Non-food reported growth of 3.4 per cent over the three months to July 2014, in line with its 12-month average of 3.8 per cent. In fact, online sales of non-food products in the UK grew 14.9 per cent in July versus a year earlier. David McCorquodale, head of retail, KPMG, said: “Fashion retailers are enjoying a better summer, even against tough comparatives that included a heatwave, royal baby and a British Wimbledon champion, and many have avoided the price cutting sprees seen last year. There was even a bounce back in furniture and household spend following a softening in June.” By Shané Schutte
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