Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Retailers get bank holiday blues after rainy days deter shoppers

Persistent wet weather over the bank holiday weekend last week further dampened consumer spending, despite occasionwear and accessories providing some relief.

The bad weather followed relentless April showers that deterred shoppers from adding to their spring wardrobes.

According to the BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, UK like-for-like sales were down 3.3% compared with last April. Footwear sales showed the largest decline since January 2008 and clothing sales also dropped substantially.

Sally Bailey, chief executive of White Stuff, said the weather was a big factor for the lifestyle retailer, with sales of summer product, particularly footwear, badly affected.

However, accessories, particularly scarves, performed well as shoppers looked to update their outfits. “Certain areas are doing well but that doesn’t negate the fact that T-shirts, skirts and dresses are just not selling,” said Bailey.

The owner of one sportswear indie said: “The rain isn’t helping anyone, particularly those of us who sell sandals or swimwear. We were doing well in March but everything has slowed down.”

Womenswear chain Karen Millen bucked the trend, with creative and managing director Gemma Metheringham saying there had been some improvement in trade with occasionwear a consistent performer.

“In some ways we are less affected by weather. Karen Millen is about special purchases that are much more considered,” she said.

The operations director of one womenswear multiple, while pleased with his own trading, was concerned that poor sales could spark discounting across the high street: “Those with a lot of high-summer product in their stores are going to run into problems because they haven’t been able to shift anything, and they are going to have to start discounting soon in order to do so.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Let's hope there's a good few weeks of sun and everything picks up. Or are the rain clouds hiding a deeper problem...?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.