The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said it expects improved shopper confidence following the General Election as it attributes a decline in food sales to “unseasonable, cool weather”.

It was reported that food sales increased 1.1% on the year over the three months to June, against a growth of 9.8% over the three months to June 2023. This was below the 12-month average growth of 5.5%.

BRC said that retail sales had “performed poorly” in June as they decreased by 0.2% on the year, against a growth of 4.9% during June 2023, and attributed the decline in sales to “cooler weather”.

Sarah Bradbury, CEO of the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD), said: “Despite unseasonable, cool weather throughout most of June, the grocery retail market has enjoyed both value and volume growth in the last month, compared to June 2023.

“Notably, value and volume performance improved in the final week of June, coinciding with the brief but intense heatwave felt across the UK. It is also worth keeping in mind that although value and volume growth is lower compared to last month’s performance, the market is annualising against significant growth that occurred in June 2023.

“On a different note, while the election campaign has not impacted shopper confidence during June, we might expect to see a boost following the election. We have seen a positive bump for shopper confidence immediately following the three previous General Elections, therefore we should expect something similar as we move through July.”

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of BRC, said: “Retailers remain hopeful that as the summer social season gets into full swing and the weather improves, sales will follow suit.

“The retail industry is vital to the nation’s economy as an important source of employment and investment. Through its scale and reach, retail can make a huge contribution to Labour’s policy goals, and the industry stands ready to work with the new Government to find ways to make this happen.”