British retail sales rebounded in July, official data showed Thursday, as the food sector won a major boost from sunny weather and the World Cup.
Sales rose 0.7 percent last month, rebounding from a 0.5-percent drop in June, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.
The tills kept ringing despite a string of high-street retailer collapses, including budget chain Poundworld and electrical specialist Maplin -- and more recently department store House of Fraser.
ONS senior statistician Rhian Murphy said that retail sales were also lifted by online price reductions.
"Many consumers stayed away from some high street stores in July, but online sales were very strong, supported by several retailers launching promotions," noted Murphy.
"Food sales remained robust as people continued to enjoy the World Cup and the sunshine."
Market expectations had been for a much more modest 0.2-percent increase in July, according to economists polled by Bloomberg.
Thursday's bright data followed news last week that Britain's economy picked up speed in the second quarter despite mounting concerns over Brexit.