High Street sales return to 'normal' in May

Figures show a clearer view of the state of retail last month, says BDO.
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BDO’s latest High Street Sales Tracker has shown that following a boost in sales caused by the Royal Wedding, Bank Holidays and Easter in April, sales have returned to normal and despite a tough time for retailers and consumers, year-on-year spending is holding.

Total sales in May slipped slightly by 0.1 per cent year on year. Meanwhile, thought, online sales jumped by 24.5 per cent year-on-year.

Don Williams, national head of retail and wholesales at BDO, said: "Consumers started to spend in April but the fact remains that we all have less money than we did a year ago.

"There are still opportunities for retailers, however, the lack of sales growth shows that they can’t rest on their laurels in their bid to woo shoppers."

Williams concluded: "We always anticipated that 2011 was going to be a challenging year. However, when we look back over the year as a whole, it certainly won’t be all doom and gloom.

"People are still shopping but are far more careful in their decision making than previously. Caution is likely to be the watchword for a while yet for both retailers and consumers alike."

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