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Wet weather makes holidaymakers shopping mad


Retailers are celebrating the wet summer by ringing up more sales at the tills as stay-at-home families spend cash on their homes rather than foreign holidays.

According to the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) shows internet shopping is 20% up while sales over the shop counters are 2% - both are year-on-year comparisons with last July. The figures also showed that despite the growth of internet shopping, the total online spend still accounts for less than £1 of every £20 shoppers spend.

Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, said: “July showed us both sides of the British summer and gave some parts of retailing a much needed boost. 

“The largely cooler, wetter second half of the month turned attention indoors helping sales of furniture and home wares – which have been under pressure throughout the downturn.” 

The BRC claims people were using holidays at home to improve their homes rather than spending cash on trips away.

John Lewis, the department store and Waitrose supermarket group, generally regarded as a retail sector barometer, saw sales increase more than 10% in the supermarkets for the 12 weeks to August 9 – almost twice as fast as the industry average of 5.6%.

July's wet and windy weather knocked seasonal food and drink sales as families cancelled barbecues and outdoor events. 

Budget supermarkets sales are outstripping the industry average. Sales are up 8.1% at Aldi but low compared to the 26% growth the store recorded at the end of last year. Aldi has 3% of the UK market.

Around the other supermarkets, according to industry experts TNS Worldpanel, ASDA has a record 18 million customers a week passing through the checkouts. ASDA sales were up 8.3% leading to a slightly increased market share from 16.5% to market share. 17.2%. Sainsbury’s is clinging on to a 15.9% share but Tesco remains the leader with a more or less static 31% market share

"Our data shows that the new shoppers attracted to discount outlets and their low prices have largely failed to convert to regular loyal customers," said Ed Garner, TNS Worldpanel director. "Taking the contrasting performances of Waitrose and the discounters together implies that 'recession panic' is abating as far as the grocery sector is concerned."


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