High street sales drop for 6th month in a row

The World Cup and heatwave dented high street sales in July, seeing like-for-likes drop for the sixth month in a row.

According to the BDO High Street Sales Tracker, high street sales grew one per cent in the first week of July thanks to summer sales, but subsequently dropped by more than two per cent in the following two weeks, remaining flat in the fourth.

This meant July saw an overall sales decline of 1.1 per cent compared to last year, in what BDO’s head of retail Sophie Michael called a “disaster for shops”.

“We’ve now had six consecutive months with no in-store growth,” she added.

“While the sunshine and buzz around England’s World Cup run was a boost for pubs and supermarkets, the scorching conditions did not encourage physical shopping and only hindered footfall in shops.

“While temperatures may have been rising, retailers are being frozen out. Concerns overs personal finances and the general economic outlook has had a downward drag on consumer confidence.

“Summer is proving to be something of a disaster for shops and, with a poor first six months, the pressure is on for retailers to do all they can do to mitigate the impact of 2018 being an unprecedentedly tough year.”

By category fashion saw the first growth since September rising 1.3 per cent year-on-year, while lifestyle dropped 2.6 per cent and homewares dived 11.8 per cent.

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