Published on 10 - April - 2012
"Shot in the arm" for DIY retail sector in MarchThe unseasonably hot weather in March sent shoppers to the high streets, with homewares sales up 4.1% on last year according to the BDO high street sales tracker.
The BDO credits the unseasonably good weather with driving high street footfall
Mid-tier retailers saw like-for-like sales jump 2%, while the company described the sales surge as a "much needed shot in the arm for the DIY sector."
BDO LLP national head of retail and wholesale Don Wiliams said the positive sales figures would have come as a relief as quarter day rent demands landed in retailers' letterboxes. But he warned that recent high profile failures have shown the high street that it can't relax its guard just year.
"The retailers holding their own have given themselves the best chance by doing everything they can to improve cashflow," he said.
"That means a continued focus on all available 'self help' strategies such as working and refining their property portfolios and re-looking at their supply chains. We are not expecting any more significant dips in year-on-year sales in 2012, but we aren't expecting any big leaps either.
"Retailers that drop their guard now and fail to keep a tight leash on their overheads whilst maintaining and enhancing service standards will find things increasingly tough later in the year."
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