Stephen Robertson, Director General of the British Retail Consortium announced that UK retail sales values were down by 0.4% on a like-for-like basis from August 2011, when they were down 0.6% on the preceding year.
He said “”there’s no evidence here of any Olympic boost to retail sales overall. Sadly, apart from April – distorted by Easter timings – August saw the worst sales growth this year”.
“Hot weather and the Olympics did help sales of party food and drink but that was more than offset by a really weak performance for non-food goods”.
“It’s clear people were absorbed by the magnificent Olympics and had little interest in shopping, especially for major items. Usually-reliable online sales suffered, putting in the worst sales growth since we started the measure four years ago. Some retailers told us online activity was particularly thin in the evenings. If people weren’t watching television they were more likely to be following the sport on PCs and mobile devices than shopping”.
Here at the IPM we feel we have our sense in human nature restored by such a story. Retailing is important…but is not everything. If people were enjoying the Olympics and not shopping then so be it. Come on BRC get a sense of perspective…….