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High Street Records Fifth Consecutive Month Of Negative Instore Sales

AlbertPego shoppers Manchester iStockphoto 529839265
  • In-store sales fell by -1.7% last month, compared to April 2023
  • Despite online sales performing better last month, overall sales combining online and in-store remained flat at +0.4%
  • Fashion was the weakest category, with in-store sales falling by -8.3% marking eight consecutive months of negative growth  

In-store sales fell by -1.7% in April, which is the fifth consecutive month of negative results, according to new data from BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker.

BDO’s data, which records sales across discretionary spend categories, highlighted that while overall sales, combining both online and in-store, remained flat at +0.4% in April, it was the performance of high street stores which brought the overall figure down. This drop is primarily due to a significant fall in sales in the fashion sector, with in-stores sales down -8.3% compared to April 2023.

The fashion sector’s poor performance means that it has now recorded eight consecutive months of negative in-store sales.

The homewares sector also saw a negative in-store result, with sales down -1.5%. However, online sales provided a small boost, increasing +8.2% in April, bringing the homewares overall total to +1.8% year on year.

The lifestyle sector was the only category to record positive in-store and non-store sales figures last month, also recording +1.8% increase compared to 2023. In-store sales grew by +3.4% whilst non-store increased by +5.8%

Sophie Michael, Head of Retail and Wholesale at BDO, commented: “This is yet another disappointing set of results for the retail sector. While an increase in online sales may offer a glimmer of hope, it’s clear that consumers are simply not spending their spare cash on the high street.

“The fashion sector will be particularly concerned by such a poor sales performance in the run up to summer. Unpredictable and unseasonably cold weather may have dampened the mood of shoppers who would usually be investing in their spring and summer wardrobe.”

Sophie continued: “The competition for the consumer purse has never been fiercer. With us recording a seventh consecutive month of negative or <1% growth for discretionary spend categories, retailers should be realistic in thinking this may not be a temporary trend.

“Those who want to succeed must acknowledge that the competition is not just with other retailers but with the hospitality, leisure and travel sectors, with many choosing ‘experiences’ over products. If sales continue to fall, it may mean we see more consolidation in the sector, more empty stores, and a real risk to a crucial part of the UK economy.”

Source : BDO

Image : AlbertPego / iStockphoto / 529839265

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02 May 2024

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