Warm weather fails to boost retailers

| October 10, 2011
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According to accountancy firm, BDO, the warm weather during September failed to boost the High Street after like-for-like sales were 4% lower last month compared with a year earlier – the biggest fall since March 2009.

A report by the company said people were more interested in enjoying the warm days rather than hitting the shops.

BDO said fashion retailers, in particular, suffered the most as consumers avoided stocking up on winter clothing, as temperatures soared unusually high for the time of year.

Same-store sales at fashion stores slumped 5.1% in September, BDO added.

BDO comments: “Rather than stock up on cardigans and coats, consumers largely avoided the High Street in favour of a final few days of sun.”

However, the accountancy firm said it’s not all doom and gloom and things should improve as the festive period looms.

BDO’s national head of retail and wholesale, Don Williams, said: “While conditions on the High Street are undoubtedly tough, consumer spending is unlikely to collapse completely between now and Christmas.

“We expect an element of bounce back now the temperature has dropped, and the usual seasonal promotions are starting to appear,” he added.

Retail sales have slowed significantly this year as households continue to be squeezed by higher inflation, rising unemployment and sluggish wage growth.

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