Fashion retailers have experienced their worst July sales performance for eight years as shoppers turned away from stores, despite heavy discounts.
In July, high street fashion sales fell by 3.5 per cent year-on-year, according to figures released today by accountancy firm BDO.
Homeware performed far better, benefiting from a like-for-like sales lift of 5.8 per cent.
Overall, sales on the high street fell by 0.6 per cent.
BDO said the clothing sector was responsible for dragging the overall sales figure into negative territory for the month.
Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said: “It is apparent that shoppers are diverting their attention to essentials and tightening their belts.
“The concern here is that sales have diminished in a typical month for discounting, when retailers traditionally look to clear stock to make room for new ranges.”