The retail sales decline continued in June, with the BRC reporting a like-for-like dip of 0.6 per cent. However, this was an improvement on May, when a 2.1 per cent decline was recorded.
The improvement was attributed to June’s cooler, wetter conditions, which resulted in increased High Street footfall - the poor weather meant that outdoor toys ‘struggled’, though.
Early opening of summer sales is believed to have contributed to the increase on May, which comes despite the closure of big stores like Habitat and TJ Hughes.
The value of sales increased 1.5 per cent compared to last year, although this was largely attributed to the VAT increase.
Stephen Robertson, director general, British Retail Consortium, said: "It shows just how tough times are when total sales growth of 1.5 per cent is regarded as not that bad.
"Sales continue to be under huge pressure from the squeeze on disposable incomes produced by rising inflation and low wage growth. Underlying conditions are still tough but being masked by a minor revival in non-food sales driven by price cuts and clearance events starting earlier this year."