June sunshine lifts high street sales

The high street has just had its best June in six years, figures released yesterday (Thursday June 6) by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO reveal.

According to BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker, UK retailers saw June’s overall like-for-like trading grow by 1.3%.

The growth was off a negative base of -3.6% for the same month last year, but after four months with no growth, this might offer a ray of sunshine to UK retailers.

Fashion sales grew 1.4% year-on-year as shoppers turned to update their wardrobes for the June heatwave. Like-for-like sales of lifestyle goods increased by 1.2%, benefitting from strong tourist numbers and Father’s Day.

Homewares also saw a positive rise of 0.5%, making it a clean sweep for the month.

Non-store sales (ie sales through the internet and mail order) dipped during the hot weather before rallying at the end of the month to record like-for-like growth of 22.2% for the month overall.

Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO LLP, said: “This time last year the EU Referendum outcome led to reluctance by consumers to spend, making it the high street’s worst June in a decade.

This June, consumers were distracted by a General Election, but that didn’t stop them heading to the shops when the sun came out.

“Retailers will take heart from consumers’ willingness to spend, but there is evidence that shoppers are delving into their savings which is clearly not a sustainable position.

“With real earnings falling, which will inevitably result in consumers to tighten their belts, product range and the retail experience will be ever more important factors – together with discount offers to encourage spending.”

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