HIGH STREET sales declined in February as the cold weather put consumers off shopping and offset a boost in sales from Valentine’s Day.
Mid-market retailers saw sales drop by 0.2 per cent year-on-year, despite easy comparatives on last years when flooding hit large parts of the country.
The fashion sector took the biggest hit with a 0.6 per cent decline despite Valentine’s Day promotions helping to drive a 2.2 per cent uplift in fashion sales over that period..
Sophie Bevan, the head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said:
“Consumers are still reeling from the longest decline in living standards this century, and they only spend when they see something they need. But as the weather improves, people will start looking at spring fashion lines and thinking about their homes and gardens.”
Homewares were the only category that performed well, with sales up 6.6 per cent, while sales of lifestyle items were down 0.1 per cent.