High street sales rose 0.9 per cent like-for-like last month as favourable weather drove footfall, according to research released today.
An uplift in non-store sales was also reported by the BDO High Street Sales Tracker, which found that online and mail order sales had rocketed 40.4 per cent, the highest level in over a year.
Don Williams, National Head of Retail and Wholesale at BDO LLP, said: “The growth of non-store sales shows how quickly retailers are adopting web and mobile channels.
“Services like click and collect drive footfall and in-store sales, and the advent of 4G is going to increase people‘s access to fast web browsing even further.”
Non-fashion sales grew 5.2 per cent over the month thanks to shoppers seeking outdoor gear such as waterproofs while like-for-like fashion sales remained stagnant.
Weak sales were blamed on a decrease in demand of high end fashion womenswear as consumers avoided excessive spend in the run-up to Christmas while homewares sales also suffered, declining for the fifth consecutive month.
While these results are disappointing, there has been an overall improvement across the board on October 2011, when total sales stood at -3.1 per cent and Williams believes there is good cause to remain positive as the festive season approaches.
“We‘ve learned to live with austerity for five years, but consumers have shown they will not sacrifice Christmas,” he explained.
“Now indicators are suggesting the economy will improve in 2013, this will hopefully feed into consumer confidence over the next two months.”