Like-for-like retail sales dropped in August as retailers relied on new space to make up the shortfall, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Same-store sales were down 1 per cent last month, with the later fall of the August Bank Holiday weekend this year impacting performance.

The trade association’s BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor recorded a total 0.1 per cent gain on August 2014 as newly opened space made good the gap on stores open over a year.

Director-general Helen Dickinson was positive for next month’s figures, however, saying falls this month were likely down to timing issues.

“Large ticket item categories like furniture and household appliances experienced a decline in sales, again likely affected by the Bank Holiday distortion,” she said.

"Retailers will hope to recoup that sales deficit in September and to start feeling the effect of higher real wages."