Like-for-like fashion sales in June were down 1.1%, a little more than the average retail drop across all retail sectors of 0.9%.
Shoppers bought seasonal summer ranges and avoided discretionary spending such as on lingerie and footwear, according to BDO Stoy Hayward’s High Street Tracker.
Although the overall dip of 0.9% was a small improvement on the previous month, June sales saw big fluctuations over the period, from +6% at the beginning of the month to -7.8% in the week to June 28.
BDO Stoy Hayward said that retailers which started summer discounting early generally outperformed those that waited until the end of June.
BDO Stoy Hayward head of retail Rupert Eastell said: “Many had expected that by this point in the year retail sales would have been down by around 5% or 6%. However, the first six months of the year have been reasonably positive. The next six months will remain a real test for retailers, particularly as many believe that the sector has yet to reach the bottom of the downturn.”
He added: “General background noise about the strength of the recovery and rising unemployment means that consumers will continue to be wary of spending.”