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High street sales remain buoyant despite icy conditions

Published: 10 January 2011
The coldest December in 100 years may have forced some shoppers to stay home but year-on-year sales growth held firm, says BDO, dropping just 0.5% in December.
High street sales remain buoyant despite icy conditions
While homeware sales dropped slightly further at -1.8% for the five weeks to January 2, 2011, this was a strong recovery from a significant -13.9% dip in the first week of December.

According to BDO's latest figures, non-fashion sales actually grew 0.9% year-on-year, thanks to a last minute rush and a flurry of early sales and promotions.

Total sales for the month were buoyed by frenzied trading during the traditional New Year sale period, with takings the week after Christmas up 8.3% on the previous year, as shoppers rushed to beat the January 4 VAT rise.

Online shopping also saw an increase, with non-store sales up 45% in December.

BDO national head of retail and wholesale Don Williams said: "Snow is a convenient distraction for retailers with deeper underlying problems. While these figures are disappointing, put in context of the poor weather, a dip of less than 1% is not nearly as bad as it could have been. Retailers like John Lewis reported healthy sales growth despite the weather. Despite being snowed in for two weeks, UK consumers showed they will still buy from retailers offering good products and a good service."

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