High streets sales up 3.5% last month

British high streets are showing signs of recovery as like-for-like (LFL) sales rose 3.5 per cent last month, the best growth of the year to date, according to figures released today.

Accountancy firm BDO‘s High Street Sales Tracker, shoppers rushing for winter clothing amid fierce storms at the end of September drove sales, with fashion sales ahead three per cent year-on-year.

Over the same period last year, fashion sales dipped 5.1 per cent LFL thanks to a heatwave though the bad weather saw the high street‘s performance improve after months of flat or negative growth.

Non-fashion increased seven per cent year-on-year over the period as a result of solid sales of beauty and luxury products as well as gifting & leisure.

Although homewares failed to improve with sales declining 5.3 per cent due to a fragile housing market, non-store sales recovered in September following a disappointing lull over the Olympic period, up 32.5 per cent with most retailers reporting double-digit growth.

Don Williams, National Head of Retail and Wholesale at BDO LLP, said: “These figures are being compared against a relatively weak 2011, but the predicted Olympic afterglow seems to have helped boost sales everywhere apart from homewares.

“The autumnal weather has certainly provided a welcome fillip for fashion sales too.

“Next month‘s figures will give us a better idea of how strong the recovery is, but we expect growth to remain positive in the run up to Christmas.”


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