Football fever fuels food, TV sales
Shoppers splashed out on party food and televisions last month as football fever gripped the nation, according to retail sales figures.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the World Cup and last month's perfect barbecue weather gave a welcome boost to retailers in June, with early clearance sales adding to the high street cheer.
Its latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor showed a 1.2% hike in like-for-like sales last month - marking the strongest result since March.
The BRC said that while clothing and footwear slowed after a surge in May, there was strong demand for outdoor, DIY and leisure goods.
Television sets were also top sellers as football fans looked to take advantage of promotions on flat screens - although sales petered out after England's early exit.
The World Cup lifted sales of ready meals, pizza and party favourites, while salads and barbecue foods were top sellers amid the summer sunshine.
Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, said the sector enjoyed "decent" sales growth last month, especially against a very strong June last year when hot weather also lifted sales.
The latest BRC sales figures reveal that on a three-month average, which irons out monthly volatility, same store sales are flat on a year earlier. Food sales have risen 0.1% in the three months to June and non-food sales have held firm.
Internet, mail order and phone sales slowed in June to growth of 17.3%, against 21.9% in May, although the BRC said this was largely due to tough comparatives from a year ago.