UK retailer sales for August fell 0.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis, compared to August 2010, the British Retail Consortium has reported. Total sales rose by 1.5 per cent year-on-year.
Non-food, non-store sales growth for the month continued to rise with sales recorded at 12.6 per cent higher than the previous year.
Stephen Robertson, director general, British Retail Consortium, commented: "The retail sector's performance for August has been essentially flat, particularly bearing in mind the increase in VAT, which will be responsible for some of the growth in spending.
"It remains a tale of two halves. The food sector has proved more resilient but non-food retail showed a marked decrease in sales year-on-year."
Robertson also pointed out that the riots were not widespread or prolonged enough to have a significant impact on sales, but: "Poor consumer confidence, high inflation and the ongoing squeeze on personal finances remain the biggest threats to the retail sector."
Helen Dickinson, head of retail, KPMG, added: "For non-food, the picture is disheartening with one of the worst monthly results of the year thus far."
Results showed that poor weather over the summer resulted in disappointing sales for the outdoor leisure and toy sectors.