Boost for January’s sales

Julian Harris
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DOOM and gloom forecasts for the British high street have yet to materialise, according the latest BDO sales tracker, released today.

In January, sales for retailers with revenues between £5m and £500m were up 9.1 per cent compared to the same time last year, said BDO.

Consumers have been taking advantage of “VAT busting” offers that some retailers used to tempt shoppers after VAT increased to 20 per cent on 4 January.And online sales were up an astonishing 49 per cent – a rate of growth not seen in nearly a year. “This year has had a healthy start,” said BDO’s Don Williams.

However, the figures may have been helped by a milder month than the snow-affected January of 2010.

And the findings are out of kilter with recent John Lewis figures, which showed a 0.9 per cent fall in the week to 29 January, and 2.2 per cent drop the previous week.