High street endures worst 6 months in over a decade

Whilst World Cup fever has gripped the nation this month, with many supermarkets promoting food and drink offers to coincide with the big games, June 2018 was not a good month for the high street in terms of sales.

Figures just released by the BDO High Street Sales tracker indicate a 1.7% decrease in sales for the month. This means that sales have fallen for a fifth consecutive month and that the high street has recorded its poorest first half of year sales numbers in over a decade.

The sector which saw the biggest drop in like for like sales was homeware, which was down 2.4%. This was closely followed by fashion which suffered a decrease of 2.3%. Lifestyle sales recorded the smallest difference with a 0.3% fall.

One factor which may be responsible for the decrease is the weather, particularly at the beginning of the month. Torrential rain as well as flooding affected many parts of the country and is being blamed for a reduced footfall in many places. Business rates, have also being cited as an issue which is affecting stores across the nation.

BDO’s head of retail, Sophie Michael commented on the latest figures stating: “The bleak and crippling start to the year shows no sign of abating, with deep discounting set to eat into (profit) margins that are already being stretched paper-thin by poor sales and rising costs, including the much-discussed issue of unfair business rates on high street retailer.” Only time will tell whether July’s figures are more positive in light of the continued good weather and sporting events.

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