High street retailers suffered a wash out month for sales in June in a further blow for the struggling sector.
Brexit uncertainty continued to have a “crippling” effect on retailers three years on from the referendum, accountancy firm BDO said, as it revealed that like-for-like in store sales fell by 0.8 per cent last month.
A drop in consumer confidence and slowing wage growth added to the gloom in the UK’s retail industry.
No in-store sales growth has been recorded for 16 of the last 17 months, according to the High Street Sales Tracker published today by BDO.
Despite starting summer sales early the fashion sector recorded flat in-store sales on a negative base of -2.3 per cent this time last year.
Lifestyle sales plummeted 3.5 per cent last month from a negative base of -0.3 per cent in June last year.
Homeware stores had some cause for optimism as retailers reported that in-store sales were up 5.6 per cent from a base of -2.4 per cent.
Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said: “June was another washout month for the high street…Retailers are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
“They want to invest and adapt but they don’t have the funds or confidence to do so. At the same time, shoppers are holding back as consumer confidence falls and discretionary spend slips away.”
She added: “June marked the third anniversary of the EU referendum yet we still have no clear path forward.
“The uncertainty for both consumers and businesses is having a crippling effect. Time is running out and the government urgently needs to take action to help save the UK high street.”
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