UK: online boosts retail, but ASDA warns on Brexit
British retail sales unexpectedly edged up in July, helped by strong online spending.
But ASDA, the UK supermarket arm of Walmart, has become the latest to warn on how Brexit uncertainty is hitting customers.
David Pollard reports.
British consumers - taking Brexit in their stride.
Or perhaps not.
Two UK headlines on Thursday (August 15) paint different pictures.
July saw a surprise 0.2 per cent rise in retail sales, according to official data.
A fall had been forecast.
Online sales jumped nearly 7 per cent.
But household goods stores reported their biggest monthly drop in two years.
And with the overall trend still softening, retailers won't - says the UK stats office - be "getting carried away" with the numbers.
Retailers like ASDA.
It on Thursday warned Brexit uncertainty WAS hitting customers.
The UK arm of Walmart reported a small rise in Q2 sales.
But boss Roger Burnley said that although ASDA's food food business performed well, non-food was - quote - challenged".
He also noted an almost six-year low in consumer confidence, adding to signs that consumers could turn more cautious as the political crisis over the UK's exit from the EU drags on.