Shoppers have abandoned the high street september with sales in August being among the list of worst on record, according to figures released today by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP.
BDO’s Shopping mall Sales Tracker (HSST) for August shows UK standard sales declined -2.7% year-on-year – the worst August decline for 3 years.
BDO confirmed this is the seventh month successively for negative in-store sales, and also the eleventh month in succession where bricks-and-mortar growth did not exceed 1%.
As shoppers took a secondary from the high-street, total in-store like-for-like (LFL) sales fell weekly of August applying a -3.9% fall inside first week. Sales continued to fall in by in week two (down -2.9%) and three (down -2.8%), before rallying slightly with the begin the lending company holiday weekend (down –1.1% going back week).
The fashion sector saw its worst August since 2015, with sales down in-store atlanta divorce attorneys week of August and down by above 3% in three weeks within the month.
Homewares stores saw sales growth plummet -6.1% year-on-year in August coming from a base of +1.9% for August 2017 – the worst August for homeware since 2012.
Lifestyle was the only real sector to protect yourself from a fall in year-on-year growth, flatlining at 0%.
Online, non-store like-for-like sales in August improved by +13.7% from the base of +18.3% for August recently. The sluggish growth was the cheapest seen for August since 2015 and constitutes the third lowest have the year-to-date.
Sophie Michael, Head of Retail and Wholesale at BDO LLP, said: “High street shops hasn’t seen any notable growth since October a year ago. With inflation continuing to bite for the weekly shop plus the heatwave driving discretionary spending to bars and entertaining, there is much less disposable income advancing towards high street shops.
“You’ll find signs that retailer margins are protected through tighter handling of stock levels and shortening discount periods. However, the following month are going to be a vital bellwether for retailers leading into the crucial last quarter with the season.
“For the consumer, it’s really a question of priorities. From a climate of rising interest levels, prices rising and subdued real wage growth, you will find limited discretionary spend left which is taking its toll on fashion and homeware sales, especially bigger-ticket items.
“As always, you will have winners and losers in retail even as we enter into the crucial last quarter of year. Using the year over and most now okay work, spending levels in the next 6 or 8 weeks will identify those retailers which have created a formula for achievement.”