Food sales in the UK were up by 9.8% in June and 10.1% on a like-for-like basis, despite consumer confidence remaining “fragile”. According to the British Retail Consortium, total retail sales also increased 4.9%, against a decline of 1% in June 2022.
BRC chief executive, Helen Dickinson OBE, said this uptick in sales came “as hot weather prompted purchases of summer essentials”, such as barbecue food. “With headline food inflation easing for two months in a row as prices of essentials start to fall thanks to stiff competition and consumers continuing to shift shopping patterns to mitigate as much inflation as they can, confidence could improve,” she added.
However she said that “costly reforms” to the packaging levy and the upcoming deposit return scheme are “putting an inflationary £4bn burden on retailers” and could “derail” retailers’ efforts to bring down prices. “A hike to business rates is also on the cards for next April. The government must look at how these costly policies will impact inflation and consumers and think again.”