The UK saw its highest summertime sales growth for five years in July, according to the latest High Street Sales Tracker from accountancy and business advisory firm BDO.
Overall year-on-year sales inflation for medium-sized retailers was 5.2 per cent, with non-fashion and fashion goods leading the way by recording growth levels of 6.1 per cent and 5.1 per cent respectively.
The success of the non-fashion sector, which covers health & beauty, gifts and leisure goods, was driven by tourists and holidaymakers buying make-up and gadgets.
BDO revealed that homewares was the sector that struggled more than any other, with the lack of activity in the housing market slowing the annual growth of furniture and big ticket purchases to just 1.4 per cent.
Indeed, both B&Q and Wickes have cited sluggish sales of big ticket items as factors behind a downturn in trade during the second quarter of the year.
Homeware sales activity aside, Head of Retail at BDO Don Williams is confident general trading levels will remain high as 2010 progresses.
“Although macro trends point to a retail slowdown, we are yet to see this reflected on the high street,” he explained.
“While the good weather has undeniably been a factor, retailers will be pleased to see that, despite reports to the contrary, confidence among consumers remains high.”