August High Street sales up 3.5 per cent according to latest BDO figures

Weather has part to play in highest increase since February this year.
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Overall like for like High Street sales in August were up 3.5 per cent, according to BDO's monthly High Street Sales Tracker figures released this week.

The growth depicts the highest increase since February this year.

Sparked by a fast-recovering housing sector and led by well-performing department stores, homeward sales were particularly strong with a year on year increase of 20.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, non-fashion sales recorded an increase of 8.7 per cent, showing a recovery from sharp dips in previous months.

Don Wiliams, national head of retail and wholesale at BDO LLP, indicated that fashion stores had benefited from pent up demand when the July heatwave eased and shoppers started looking for autumn lines.

"The overall outlook for the UK high street is positive," said Williams. "This has been a strong month overall. This time last year, the feel good factor came from the Olympics.

"This year is is being prompted by the change in tone in the media and consumers being less fearful of imminent restructuringd and redundancy. There is no doubt confidence is returning slowly.

"The wet spring made seasonal lines difficult to shift, which has undoubtedly led to some pent up demand. The damp weather over the past few weeks has coincided with the launch of autumn/winter lines, making these wares more popular than might have been expected.

"As a result, retailers offering high quality goods at fair prices are reaping the benefits."

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