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Olympics fail to boost retail sales in Britain, survey

(Xinhua)

09:40, September 05, 2012

LONDON, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Britain's retail sales were weak in August as the feel good factor from the Olympics failed to inspire spending, said the British Retail Consortium (BRC) on Tuesday.

Retail sales values in Britain dropped 0.4 percent in August from the same period of last year, showed a BRC survey report.

Excluding the Easter anomaly, these were the lowest since November 2011, driven by particularly weak non-food sales as the feel good factor from the Olympics failed to inspire spending, the BRC said.

Stephen Robertson, Director General of British Retail Consortium, said: "There's no evidence here of any Olympic boost to retail sales overall. Sadly, apart from April - distorted by Easter timings - August saw the worst sales growth this year."

There was a mild boost to food sales in the form of party food and drink, but the net effect of the Games was minimal as lower footfall in London was offset by a better performance in the rest of the country.

The most noticeable impact from the Olympics was felt online which saw growth of just 4.8 percent in August - the lowest since the Monitor started collecting data on this in October 2008.

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