High Street sees continued improvement in sales figures
Non-fashion: +4.8% The positive run continued, with sales advancing for the ninth week in a row. However, growth dipped week-on-week, despite the weakest comparisons of the year, with demand in some categories surprisingly soft.
Fashion: +1.6% Fashion retailers enjoyed a relatively good week, with takings growing in some categories. Footwear, lifestyle and formalwear performed especially well. In other areas, gains were more modest, with sales held back by the warmer weather.
Homewares: +1.4% Homewares also experienced an upturn, albeit of more modest scale, with sales advancing for the first time in three weeks. Furniture and textiles improved considerably, while demand for general household items also rose.
Non-Store: +44.9% Takings remained upbeat despite the start of the postal strike. Although a handful of stores did see trade dip, this was more than offset by general gains.
Don Williams, Head of Retail at BDO LLP commented: “For a third consecutive week trading conditions improved across the board, reflecting the more upbeat consumer environment. Overall, takings advanced by 2.5%. As usual, non-fashion headed the charts, while fashion delivered modest growth. Notably, homewares rebounded into positive territory after three negative weeks.
However, given takings this week last year hit rock bottom, these results are still below expectations and not conclusive of a sustained future growth, especially when compared to 2007 levels.” he concluded.
Sales this week last year
With news confirming that the economy is in recession, all three sectors recorded double-digit decreases this week last year. Consumers not only curbed spending on large discretionary purchases and homeware goods, but also cut back on basic fashion items. Non-fashion sales dropped 10.8%, fashion slumped (-12.6%), while homewares collapsed (-16.6%).
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