Rising consumer confidence bolsters High Street

New BDO High Street Sales Tracker figures show overall like for like sales growth among mid-market retailers.
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The recovery on the High Street continued in April, with latest figures from BDO's High Street Sales Tracker revealing overall like for like sales growth among mid-market retailers up 2.7 per cent.

BDO's figures show like for like sales at fashion retailers grew 2.1 per cent year on year as warmer weather prompted shoppers to pick up summer lines.

The later Easter also helped to boost footfall, pushing up sales of lifestyle goods and homewares by 3.6 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively.

"Retailers have got over one of the major hurdles of the year in the form of March rent day with no major casualties," said Sophie Bevan, head of retail and wholesale at BDO. "Alongside more robust consumer spending, this is giving retailers the confidence to hold firm on discounting, thereby protecting their margins.

"Despite lower levels of discounting, stores are reporting better in-store conversion and bigger individual basket sizes, which is also really good news.

"With more sustained confidence on the High Street, we are seeing increasingly favourable conditions returning. This means that although it is the more astute retailers leading the march in recovery, the polarisation between the best and the worse businesses is less pronounced than during the worst of the recession.

"Despite the challenges that remain in the market, this is a trend we would expect to continue."

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