Grocers are top performers on UK high street

Grocers, clothing and footwear retailers were among the star performers on the high street in July, according to the the latest CBI Distributive Trades Survey. It found sales on the high street increased in July compared with a year ago, and surpassed expectations with retailers expecting sales growth to continue strongly next month.

It found while 18% of retailers said sales were lower than a year ago, 51% said they rose, giving a balance of +33%. This compares with an expected figure of +11% based on survey findings last month, and was the highest balance since April 2007 (+44%).

Annual summer discounts, the World Cup and warm weather appear to have encouraged high-street sales, the CBI said.

Looking to August, a balance of +45% expects a higher volume of sales next month – the most positive figure since June 2004 (+46%).

The July Distributive Trades Survey was conducted between 23 June and 14 July, and covered 131 companies.

Lai Wah Co, CBI head of economic analysis, said: “High street sales have performed well this month, with growth better than retailers predicted. Annual summer discounts and warm weather helped lift sales of clothing, while grocers and durable household goods retailers appear to have benefitted from a World Cup boost to sales of food, drink and new televisions.

“Retailers are optimistic strong sales growth will continue next month, which is promising. We still expect the recovery in overall consumer spending to be fairly restrained, however, given concerns about the impact of public spending cuts and weak prospects for real take-home pay in the coming year.”