Online retailing played a significant part in an overall improvement in retail sales during June, the British Retail Consortium has reported.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) Sales Monitor report for June 2009 shows that non-food non-store sales in June increased by 16.8 per cent when compared to the same period last year. Non-food, non-store based sales also includes mail order and telephone sales. Sharon Hardiman, head of non-store retailing for the BRC said; "Online and mail order sales of non-food goods bounced back in June to the second highest growth rate this year."

Although online retailing is on the increase and retailers such as Marks & Spencer and Mothercare have reported steady online growth, the BRC said that less than four per cent of food and non-food sales in the UK are acquired through non-store channels.

Overall the retail sector had a better June than previous months of this year with the value of retail sales increasing by 1.4 per cent, according to the BRC like-for-like figures.

"June's sunshine gave overall sales a much needed boost," said Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC. "The heat wave helped food retailers and got customers buying outdoor goods, such as garden furniture, pools and picnic ware."

Robertson did add a note of caution to the better than expected figures, reminding the industry that "big ticket" purchases such as furniture were still depressed as consumers still lived with concern about job security and debt levels.

BRC creates the monthly sales monitor with CIO 100 ranked company KPMG. The financial experts are responsible for aggregating the sales data that retailers provide to the BRC.