BDO says no Olympic boost for high street

Kasmira Jefford
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RETAILERS’ hopes of an Olympic-boost were dashed last month, a leading survey shows today, after Olympic-inspired purchases failed to make up for depressed sales in fashion and homeware.

Figures released today by accountancy firm BDO reveal that like-for-like sales at mid-tier retailers dipped by 0.5 per cent in August.

Fashion sales were down 1.3 per cent year-on-year, stunted by volatile weather conditions that were either too wet – or too hot – to encourage shoppers to spend.

BDO said hastily planned sales by retailers looking to get ahead of rivals further confused shoppers.

Weak consumer confidence and a static housing market took their toll on homewares sales, which struggled for a second month running, falling 8.7 per cent.

But non-fashion bucked the trend, with like-for-like sales up 3.1 per cent last month, mainly because of demand for Olympic memorabilia.