Xmas hangover causes retailers January blues

Kasmira Jefford
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SHOPPERS held back on their spending in January after splashing out over Christmas and Black Friday, according to accountancy firm BDO.

Figures from BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker show that sales from stores open at least a year at mid-sized high street chains grew just two per cent last month.

Like-for-like sales jumped 10.3 per cent in the first week of January, marking the best weekly performance in nine month. But in the four weeks that followed, sales growth failed to hit one per cent.

“The widespread discounting strategy that many retailers have adopted towards the latter part of 2014 has had a knock-on effect on the traditional January sales. Following tradition, shoppers flocked to the stores in that first week after Christmas, but after that they lost interest pretty quickly,” Sophie Bevan, head of retail and wholesale, said.

“This is a completely different picture to last year, when we saw like-for-like growth of over 17 per cent in the third week of January,” she added.

Separate figures from Barclaycard, which tracks consumer spending across all sectors including leisure and eating out, said spending was up 3.2 per cent in January.