A rebound in big-ticket furniture and flooring sales has offered another sign that consumers are feeling more confident about their finances.
The sector enjoyed its best month since March 2010 and helped drive an overall 1.8% rise in like-for-like retail sales values in August, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
The BRC said its latest figures demonstrated that confidence is "slowly but surely" returning to high streets, although the new figures are slightly weaker than the exceptional performance seen in July.
The total rise of 3.6% for last month, which includes changes in store space, was down slightly on the growth of 3.9% seen a month earlier.
Fewer distractions from sporting exploits this year meant there was more cooking and gardening, although this still failed to compensate for last year's stocking up on celebratory fare for the month of sport.