High Street enjoys post Christmas shopping bonanza
Having dipped before the festive break, mid-market retailers reported excellent post-Christmas trading with overall like-for-likes up by 10.5%.
Non-fashion jumped by 6.8% which was the best result since mid-October. Big gains were made in most categories, with luxury posting the strongest results, helped by reports of excellent trade in the Capital.
Despite the tough comparatives fashion retailers enjoyed a bumper week with takings expanding by double-digit levels. The New Year Sales fuelled much of this growth, while the prolonged cold snap also helped shift winter stock, with footwear selling especially well.
Although there were some reports of an upturn linked to the forthcoming VAT rise, broadly flat results were reported across homewares. Furniture and textiles generally improved, while demand for household items rose modestly.
Multi-channel sales continued to race ahead helped by the colder weather, New Year promotions, and good product availability.
Don Williams, Head of Retail at BDO LLP commented: “The post-Christmas numbers have provided a welcome new year boost for many retailers. Although growth in non-fashion and homewares was more modest, sales were still up on last year, which was an excellent outcome given the very strong prior year comparisons.
Across mid-market high street chains, sales grew by 4.2% on a like-for-like basis during the key five week period up to 3 January 2010.” he concluded.
Sales this week last year
This week last year trade was remarkably up-beat with takings across all three sectors ahead by double digit levels. Most stores benefited from appreciably higher footfall levels as consumers took advantage of deep New Year price cuts.
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