Spell of warm weather sees rise in high street spending
The UK high street has enjoyed its best June in six years after the warm weather lured shoppers out to overhaul their wardrobes.
UK retailers saw overall sales up 1.3% on June last year, which was off a base of minus 3.6% but follows four months of no growth, according to the BDO High Street Sales Tracker.
Fashion sales were up 1.4% year-on-year as shoppers rushed to refresh their wardrobes for the June heatwave.
Like-for-like sales of lifestyle goods were up by 1.2%, helped by strong tourist numbers and Father's Day, and homeware sales were up 0.5%.
Non-store sales dipped before rallying at the end of the month to like-for-like growth of 22.2% for the month overall.
Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO LLP, warned that June's growth should be considered in the context of last year's "dismal" post-EU referendum figures.
She said: "This time last year the EU referendum outcome led to reluctance by consumers to spend, making it the high street's worst June in a decade.
"This June, consumers were distracted by a general election, but that didn't stop them heading to the shops when the sun came out.
"Retailers will take heart from consumers' willingness to spend, but there is evidence shoppers are delving into their savings which is clearly not a sustainable position.
"With real earnings falling which will inevitably result in consumers to tighten their belts, product range and the retail experience will be ever more important factors together with discount offers to encourage spending."
Meanwhile, a survey by Leeds Building Society has said one in three women admit to shopping to make themselves feel happier. Some 33% said they sometimes shop to cheer themselves up when feeling downbeat, compared with one in seven (14%) men. But this mood boost appears to be generally short-lived, with two-fifths (41%) of women often feeling guilty about their purchases compared with less than a quarter of men.