The FWD has called on the government to abandon its experiment with extended Sunday trading hours, claiming it failed to boost the economy but hurt independent shops.

Figures released by the BRC on Tuesday revealed retail sales were down 0.4% year-on-year in August, despite the hot weather and an influx of tourists. However, food sales were boosted by an increase in party food as consumers celebrated the Olympics at home.

“The public don’t want more time in out-of-town retail parks, they want to spend their free time with families and friends within their communities. The rise in sales of snacks, drinks and party food during the Olympics demonstrates this,” said FWD CEO James Bielby.