Politics 9 May 2012 Rain hurts retail, quality of puns. Retail "dampened". Print HTML Except, perhaps, in the umbrella industry, retail sales in April have been "under the weather", according to the British Retail Consortium. BRC director general Stephen Robertson quipped: "The wettest April since records began has put a dampener on retailers' fortunes." Women and children's clothing failed to absorb the hit: like-for-like sales sagged 3.3 per cent from last year. Sales of footwear also slipped, with the nastiest fall since January 2008. Clinton Cards has actually started to disintegrate, and will be put under administration after fading sales. It had been on the cards for a while, though. Finally Sainsbury's, like a trend-bucking dolphin rising from the waters of a flooded (in a bad way!) British retail marketplace, reported a 6.8 per cent rise in annual sales to £24.5bn. An anonymous commenter said: "it really annoys me when people make puns about financial news." › Web Only: the best of the blogs Photograph: Getty Images Martha Gill writes the weekly Irrational Animals column. You can follow her on Twitter here: @Martha_Gill. Subscribe More Related articles An unmatched font of knowledge Leader: On capitalism and insecurity Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?