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BRC looks for medal boost

l2012Retail organisation pins its hopes on Olympic feelgood factor to boost August sales.

The British Retail Consortium says the value of retail sales rose by 2% in July and by 0.1% on a like for like basis, but a boost in consumer confidence from the Olympics is needed to help retailers this month.

'July was clearly not a golden month for retail. Like-for-like sales were virtually flat compared with a year ago and total growth of 2% was still behind inflation as consumers, dealing with squeezed budgets, prioritised their spending on essentials. With only the opening couple of days of the Olympic Games covered by these statistics we'll have to wait a while to assess the overall impact on retail sales. Let's hope Team GB keeps on increasing its medal tally, bringing a feelgood factor that helps consumer confidence,' says Stephen Robertson, BRC director general.

'The lack of any feelgood factor encouraging consumers out into the shops has provided a set of figures much more indicative of the true underlying trend. These show weakness in sentiment as disposable incomes remain squeezed, despite the fall in headline inflation. It's a real challenge for retailers to grow sales and many are only achieving this at the expense of margins,' adds Helen Dickinson, KPMG head of retail.

Image: London 2012.