Total sales, including new stores, were up 2% compared with 2.5% in July last year, while the three-month rolling average shows growth of like-for-like non-food sales outpacing food sales for the first time.
So-called big-ticket items such as furniture and household appliances continue to struggle to sell with growth being promotion-driven.
Online, mail-order and phone sales of non-food items show stronger growth, up 15.6% against growth of 9.6% last year.
More top news
An inquest has heard Charlie Jermyn died just 30 hours after he was born because he was not given the right antibiotics.
A British traveller was kicked out of Thailand by border officers after using pages of her passport as toilet paper when she was drunk.
Liverpool's owners have performed a U-turn on proposed ticket increases following a mass walkout of fans at weekend's Premier League match.