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British July Retail Sales Declines Amid Renewed COVID Fears

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UK retail sales unexpectedly dropped in July, suggesting some consumers skipped shopping to follow England’s progress in the Euro 2020 soccer tournament.

Source: Office for National Statistics

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ONS stated that British retailers indicated that the tournament and bad weather kept shoppers away from the stores.

Sales volumes dropped by 2.5% from June, the biggest decline since January when Britain returned to lockdown. Retailers did not give their feedback on whether concerns about rising Covid-19 cases were responsible for the decline in sales.

Food store sales were down by 1.5%, reflecting an increase in June and the opening of more hospitality ventures.

Non-food stores recorded a decline of 4.4%, even though sales remained 5.8% higher than pre-pandemic levels in February 2020.

UK online sales increased to 27.9% of total spending after hitting a pandemic low in June. July showed an increase in entertainment spending as people returned to cinemas and sports events.

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