February sales figures point to growth on the High Street
Mid-size high street retailers are performing well and consumer demand continues to grow.
Figures from the BDO High Street Sales Tracker for the month of February show overall like-for-like sales up by just over 9 per cent (9.1 per cent) on last year.
Assisted by weak figures last year, fashion sales saw record results (like-for-like sales up 10.7 per cent) as demand for winter clothing soared. Seasonal clothing ranges sold well, as did footwear, and many stores discounted less than last year.
Sales through non-store channels shot up by almost half (46.1 per cent), possibly due to bad weather discouraging some people from venturing to the high street.
Sales of home-related products also rose strongly (8.7 per cent). Furniture sales were especially strong, while textiles also sold well. Non-fashion like-for-likes rose by 5.7 per cent with trade during the run up to Valentine’s day proving to be a little disappointing.
Don Williams, Head of Retail at BDO LLP commented: “These encouraging results show that the supposed “big fall” is not manifesting itself on the high street. Retailers, particularly in the fashion market, have done well not to scare their customers off by not taking risks with their ranges and picking items that people really want to buy.
“Consumer demand should grow in the short term, but the market has not recovered completely and the gains we have seen are relative to very weak comparisons with last year. We expect that the second half of the year will be more of a struggle for the sector so retailers must focus on excelling in customer service to make sure people continue to spend money on the high street.”
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