High street sales suffer “washout” in June

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high street june
// High street sales fell by 0.8% in June, according to BDO’s latest data
// This compares to a week benchmark of a 1.7% decline last year
// Slow wage growth and falling consumer confidence failed to boost sales despite early summer discounting

The UK’s high streets suffered a washout in June as miserable weather and another fall in consumer confidence led to a perfect storm for retailers.

According to the latest BDO High Street Sales Tracker, sales fell by 0.8 per cent compared to the same month last year, which already had a weak benchmark of a 1.7 per cent drop.

BDO said early summer sale discounting failed to salvage a month marked by slowed waged and falling confidence.

The figures also mark 16 out of 17 consecutive months of no in-store sales growth in BDO’s sales tracker.

Lifestyle sales performed especially poorly, falling 3.5 per cent in June from a 0.3 per cent fall last year, which has been attributed to another fall in discretionary spending.

The weather led to flat fashion sales, with retailers unable to improve on last year’s 2.3 per cent drop despite starting summer sales early.

Homeware was the only positive aspect of BDO’s data, with a 5.6 per cent increase in sales – although this off a 2.4 per cent fall in June last year.

“June was another washout month for the high street,” BDO head of retail Sophie Michael said.

“We saw retailers discount early on in June, adding further pressure to tight margins, yet they still weren’t able to salvage the month.

“Retailers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They want to invest and adapt but they don’t have the funds or confidence to do so.

“At the same time, shoppers are holding back as consumer confidence falls and discretionary spend slips away.”

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