The hunger for barbeques and World Cup-fever failed to lift retail sales in June as shoppers stayed away from the High Street.
The Office for National Statistics said sales fell 0.5% between May and June, below expectations of a 0.2% rise.
The pound fell against the dollar in response, dipping below $1.30.
ONS senior statistician Rhian Murphy said: “Consumers stayed away from stores and instead enjoyed the World Cup and the heatwave.”
Keith Richardson, managing director retail sector at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “While the World Cup definitely got shoppers spending, these figures don’t cover the sudden rush of optimism that came with England’s progress beyond the initial group stage.
“What they do show is how challenging the retail sector is at the moment. Even the longest heatwave that many shoppers can remember hasn’t been enough to persuade consumers to really open their wallets.”