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High street sales take a hit in August

High street sales in August fell for the seventh month in a row.

Accountancy company BDO reported that sales fell by 2.7%, representing the biggest August fall for three years and marking the 11th month in a row in which growth has been either negative or below 1%.

In-store fashion sales fell by 3.6% during the month, making it the worst August for the sector since 2015.

The overall drop was blamed on price pressures as a result of inflation, and the extended heatwave altering shoppers’ habits.

Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, commented: “The high street hasn’t seen any notable growth since October last year. With inflation continuing to bite on the weekly shop and the heatwave driving discretionary spending to bars and entertaining, there is even less disposable income heading to the high street.”

Non-store sales – including online sales – rose by 13.7% for the month, a notable slowdown from a rise of 18.7% in the same month last year.

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