Heatwave prompts dire August high street sales

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BDO High Street Sales Tracker: Heatwave prompts dire August high street sales
BDO says it has now been six months of negative like-for-like in-store sales this calendar year.
// Store sales fell 0.1% in August, against to an already-poor August 2018 decline of 2.7%
// The last week of the month especially saw bad sales thanks to the heatwave of the bank holiday

Soaring summer temperatures and continuing uncertainty around Brexit has led to a dire month for the high street in August, new figures show.

According to the BDO High Street Sales Tracker, store sales fell 0.1 per cent off an already poor base of a 2.7 per cent decline during the same month last year.

The last week of August – which saw customers keep away from the high streets due to soaring temperatures across the country – saw total in-store like-for-like sales plummet by 5.10 per cent from an already negative base of -1.10 per cent for the equivalent week last year.

The figures also mark six months of negative like-for-like in-store sales this calendar year, as shoppers tighten their belts in the face of ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

“2019 continues to deliver bad news for the British high street, with crumbling consumer confidence and growing uncertainty discouraging discretionary spend,” BDO head of retail Sophie Michael said.

“With another worrying month of no growth and a Government distracted by Brexit negotiations and now a potential general election, retailers are heading into the crucial Christmas period on very unsteady footing.”

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