By Marcus Leach

The Olympics have had an adverse affect on UK retail, as figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown sales fell 0.2% in August from July.

The ONS said the decline was driven by a fall in online sales, as consumers watched the Olympics instead of shopping on the internet. That said, there was an increase in the sales of sporting goods as shoppers took inspiration from the Games and the new football season.

Compared with a year earlier, sales volumes rose by 2.7% in August, said the ONS.

“These retail figures come as no surprise, August is traditionally the calm before the Christmas rush,” Adam Stewart, Marketing Director, Rakuten’s Play.com said.

“This is also an exceptional year, with the Olympics capturing the nation’s attention for half the summer it comes as no surprise that shopping was not top of the priority list.

“The summer months are a time for retailers to take stock and start gearing up for the Golden Quarter as consumers begin to start thinking about buying gifts for Christmas. Last October saw a rise from September 2011 by 0.6 per cent, according to the ONS, as a result of pre-Christmas sales and promotions and we expect this year to follow a similar pattern.”

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