Insight: high street sales edge up in October
New figures have shown that the UK’s high streets recorded year-on-year sales growth of 0.7% in October.
According to BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker, the increase has ended a run of monthly sales falls that began with a 1.7% fall in February.
Sales of lifestyle goods grew by 2.3% while homewares saw an increase of 11.6%. Non-store sales recovered to growth of 19.5% after dropping to 12.6% in September.
Fashion goods still struggled in the unseasonably warm weather. BDO said like-for-like fashion sales were negative in three out of five weeks in October, see-sawing between a low of -5.2% to a high of +2%. While the overall monthly return for fashion retailers was a fall of 0.9%, it was still the best month since January.
Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said: “Shoppers have reminded everyone of their resilience and this result provides a promising start to a crucial trading quarter. Prices will inevitably rise next year in the context of the falling pound, but right now people are remarkably upbeat about their finances.
“Retailers have a perfect window of opportunity to push full price lines for the next few weeks and claw back their margins prior to Black Friday. A strong product and service proposition will be critical for wooing shoppers while there is an appetite to spend.”
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