Shares in FTSE 350 retailers fell on Friday after a survey showed British shops suffered their worst August for three years.
Above-target inflation and stagnant wage growth have dented consumer spending, while the few pounds that Brits did have left over were spent on entertainment or in pub gardens during the summer heatwave.
Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO said its monthly High Street Sales Tracker (HSST) showed like-for-likes fell 2.7% in August from a year earlier.
That is now seven straight months that in-store sales have fallen, with fashion and homeware retailers suffering the most.
By contrast, online sales of all goods jumped 13.7% as internet-based retailers continue to snatch market share from bricks-and-mortar stores.
In a climate of rising interest rates, prices rising and subdued real wage growth, there is limited discretionary spend left and that is taking its toll on fashion and homeware sales, especially bigger-ticket items,” said Sophie Michael, BDO’s head of retail and wholesale.