Published on 5 - September - 2011
August sales figures are subdued after disruption of riotsLike-for-like sales figures are worst for two years, says BDO, as mid-market retailers report a year-on-year sales drop of 2.2% , with home and non-fashion badly hit.
While consumer confidence is already fragile, recent looting and rioting in high streets across the country has further deterred shoppers from parting with their hard-earned cash, says the BDO.
The BDO High Street Sales Tracker, which analyses like-for-like spending at medium-sized non-grocery retailers, revealed a 2.2% sales decline in August. All sectors saw year-on-year sales declines for the four weeks ended August 28, with homewares retailers reporting a sales slump of 2.4% and non-fashion sales down 1.8%, despite modest gains in luxury sales.
BDO national head of retail and wholesale Don Williams said: "Ever since the recession hit, smart retailers have been working flat out to keep consumers spending in an extremely tough trading environment. But the scale and ferocity of the disruption we saw in August was a real body blow."
Non-store sales proved much more resilient, up 40.2% year-on-year, which Mr Williams said should give retailers with a multi-channel offer some comfort and further incentive to invest in that area of their business.
However, Mr Williams emphasised that the "undeniably bleak" figures on the high street were against tough comparisons, with retailers recording a strong August in 2010. He added: "Retailers should bear in mind that the British consumer has consistently shown itself to be a resilient creature and shoppers should start to return to retailers who give them great products, price and service. Volumes will remain subdued over the next couple of months, but the overall level of spend should hold."
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