Royal wedding to boost struggling UK shop sales

Julian Harris
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DESPITE sluggish retail sales growth in February, next month’s bank holidays will provide a spring bounce for the high street, accountancy group BDO said today.

Like for like sales were up just 0.3 per cent in February compared to the same time last year, the BDO high street sales tracker found.

“With January sales and VAT-freeze promotions finished, and Valentine’s day the only significant date, retailers had braced themselves for an ugly February,” said BDO’s Don Williams.

“However, retailers were breathing a sigh of relief that year-on-year growth was still positive -- even when compared to particularly strong figures this time last year,” Williams added.

The royal wedding and a cluster of other bank holidays will boost sales, BDO said.

“In four weeks it will be April,” a spokesperson said. “That means brighter days and three bank holiday weekends for people to hit the shops.”

British retail has suffered a torrid time of late, with consumer confidence plummeting to a near 20 month low, according to the latest Nationwide survey.