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Jubilee responsible for sales lift but upturn was short-lived

  • The Jubilee celebrations boosted sales of alcohol, crisps, cakes and dips, while the warm weather in the run-up to the event stimulated sales of summer fashion, such as shorts, dresses and sandals.
  • But the boost proved short-lived and the fortunes of the high street reversed amid grim weather in the wake of Jubilee.
  • Women's clothing saw sales decline as shoppers cut back on non-essential spending although some were prompted to buy knitwear.
  • Outdoor furniture and gardening equipment was also hit, with retailers being forced to put on discounts to drum up sales.
  • However, department stores benefited as footfall numbers were boosted by the rain, reporting strong sales of children's clothes.

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UK retail sales boosted by Jubilee 'feel-good factor'

It was the bunting boost. June was saved by the feel-good lift of the Jubilee, showing how crucial these temporary factors are in our difficult trading conditions.

Sadly the soggy celebrations over the Jubilee weekend itself, which heralded the start of the wettest June on record, were followed by far weaker business for the rest of the month."

– BRC director general Stephen Robertson

Diamond Jubilee celebrations boost for retail

Strong sales of party food and clothes ahead of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations helped beleaguered retailers keep their heads above water in June.

Official Diamond Jubilee merchandise on sale last month Credit: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

Like-for-like sales rose 1.4% over the month, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said, after the Jubilee sparked the strongest week for grocery sales since Easter and a rare blast of sun drove sales of summer clothes.

But the rest of the month proved "challenging" as the wettest June on record kept shoppers at home and dampened demand for barbecues and gardening items, while even home improvement failed to gain a boost.

Despite inflation, like-for-like sales over the first half of 2012 grew just 0.8% on the previous year, highlighting the strain on the sector amid the squeeze in people's incomes.

Queen begins visit to Scotland

The Queen visited the newly-refurbished Scottish National Portrait Gallery Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The Queen has begun a week-long visit to Scotland as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The monarch is staying at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh for the annual Royal Week.

The Queen paid a visit to the capital's newly-refurbished Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

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Clock tower renamed for Jubilee

One of the UK's best-known landmarks is to be renamed in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, it was announced today following a campaign by MPs.

Big Ben's tower will be renamed Elizabeth Tower Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA Archive

The clock tower of the Palace of Westminster - known to millions by the name of the bell it houses, Big Ben - will in future be known formally as the Elizabeth Tower.

Commons authorities backed the change last night after dozens of politicians added their names to a push by Tory Tobias Ellwood in favour of the switch.

The change will provide a neat symmetry as the tower at the west end is named the Victoria Tower - in honour of the only other British monarch to complete 60 years on the throne.

Fuel sales help rise in retail figures

  • The increase was driven primarily by a 6.2% surge in fuel sales
  • Without the impact of fuel, total retail sales increased by 0.9%
  • The Office for National Statistics estimates that the price of goods in department stores on average have fallen 2% in the last 12 months
  • Food sales grew just 0.2%, but the survey period ended on May 26th and did not include the final run-up to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee
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