Shoppers flocked back to the high street last month after a weak August as retailers enjoyed their best September performance in three years.
UK retail sales rose by 2.8 per cent year-on-year – the best figures for the month of September since 2012 and the highest monthly rise since April last year, BDO’s monthly High Street Sales Tracker (HSST) shows.
Lifestyle goods enjoyed the strongest growth, up 5.4 per cent, with some retailers recording an added boost from the Rugby World Cup. Meanwhile fashion like-for-like sales increased by 2.8 per cent – its highest growth in a year.
The bounce back in sales comes after a washout August, when shoppers chose to holiday abroad or spend money on entertainment or eating out rather than in UK stores.
“Unpredictable weather, cheap deals abroad and fragmented discounting have combined to give stores a tough time this summer. But wages are improving and inflation returned to zero in September with little noise on interest rates, giving people back some of the spending power they lost during the financial crisis,” BDO’s head of retail and wholesale, Sophie Michael, said.
“Returning from the summer and settling back into routine combined with the first hints of winter at the beginning of September gave people the reason they needed to spend, and the sales uplift was immediate,” she added.
BDO’s figures comes after the Confederation of British Industry said in its monthly snapshot of the distributive trades sales were considerably above forecasts in September, with clothing and food leading the way.
Retailers believe spending will remain strong in October as consumers stocking up on presents combined with low inflation and the recovery in wage growth help to stimulate demand.