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Olympics have negative effect on the high street

Simon Quicke

Most of retail suffered from an Olympics effect as punters stayed at home to watch the games rather than heading out to browse the shops.

But those high street players that were handling computer equipment did rather better than their peers selling other household goods.

Retail has been enjoying having the tills ringing as customers buy tablets with both Dixons and Argos drawing attention to the demand for the hardware in their most recent trading updates.

According to the latest retail figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the volume of good bought in the retail sector increase year on year by 2.7% in August but compared to last month sales fell by 0.2%.

In terms of the specific performance of the computer category it was not too far behind the strong performing sports equipment market, which was the real beneficiary of the Olympics.

The ONS also noted that web sales were down, with the sporting summer again blamed for the drop in consumer clicks: "Feedback from online retailers suggests that sales were lower as consumers watched the Olympics instead of shopping online."


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