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Department store sales fall 8% in April

Department stores had the toughest month so far this year in April with sales down 8% on the same time last year according to Barclaycard.

Overall consumer spend rose by 3.6% - although value was down 1.4%.

Online sales soared 11.7%, and figures suggested the high street had also seen a good month as the weather improved.  

But below the top line, performance of clothing told a different story.

Department stores were worst hit, but individual categories within fashion also struggled throughout the month as men’s clothing fell 5.5% and women’s by 3.5%.

The figures are drawn from Barclaycard credit and debit cards.

Chief executive of Barclaycard Valerie Soranno Keating said: “Although economic data is generally mixed, this is the first time since 2011 that we’ve seen growth above 2% for three consecutive months, which may suggest a more sustained improvement in sentiment”.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Sorry, can you explain how consumer spend rose 3.6% even though value was down by 1.4%?

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  • Hi anonymous -

    Total spend was up 3.6% but more transactions took place to reach that point compared with last year, meaning the average transaction value was 1.4% less than last year.

    Sorry it wasn’t clear before – hope that clears things up now.


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  • I think the headline is a bit misleading.
    Are all the quoted figures just from Barclaycard alone?
    How about cash sales and other credit cards - do they trend the same as Barclaycard?

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