Sales on the UK high street stumbled in February after a strong start to the year, dropping 1.7% compared to 2015, according to BDO’s monthly tracker.
Chelmsford High Street
The BDO’s monthly high street sales tracker for last month reported the first fall in sales for the month of February since 2012.
Fashion retailers were worst hit, with sales falling 2.9% year-on-year.
The fall for February reflects a downward trend that has been building since the middle of January. While the overall picture for January was positive, up 1.4%, sales dropped off as soon as the January discounting season ended and retailers started to bring in full-price spring lines.
Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO said: “Low consumer confidence, a weak pound and the forthcoming introduction of the National Living Wage means retailers are facing an even more challenging period.
“Retailers have to find ways of enticing the customer back into store during full price periods through a rich product mix and the right customer experience. With traditional shopping periods of Easter, Mothers’ Day and the March Bank holiday falling earlier this year than in 2015, retailers have an opportunity to reverse the downward trend and build year-on-year sales in March,” she added.