September 8, 2008 / 11:16 PM / 12 years ago

Retail sales fall for third straight month

Shoppers pass a Marks and Spencer store in central London July 2, 2008. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - Retail sales fell for the third month running in August as wet and dull weather kept people out of the shops, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The British Retail Consortium said like-for-like August retail sales were 1 percent lower on the year. That followed a 0.9 percent annual decline in July.

Total sales, which includes new floorspace, rose 1.4 percent on the year in August after a 1.7 percent increase in July.

“Miserable weather washed out hopes of a summer boost for retailers, already suffering the slowdown,” said Stephen Robertson, BRC director general.

Food retailers maintained robust sales, even though prices have gone up, as many consumers are increasingly turning to cooking more at home instead of going out as they try to cut costs, the BRC said.

Furniture and homeware sales were well down on a year earlier as the housing market slump is hitting this area hard.

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