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September sales boosted by cold weather

UK retail like-for-like sales rose 3% in September and clothing sales led the way thanks to the cold snap according to the British Retail Consortium.

Footwear and clothing were the ranked first and second respectively in terms of like-for-like and total growth by the BRC in its September sales survey. The trade body said that clothing and footwear sales picked up towards the end of September when temperatures cooled. Trade in the mild, earlier part of the month was much weaker.

The strongest growth came from kidswear, which was boosted by late back-to-school sales, while menswear outperformed womenswear achieving its best growth for almost a year.

Best sellers across fashion included coats, knitwear, jeans and hosiery, with nightwear, scarves and gloves providing an early sales boost for some retailers.

Footwear sales, which first picked up in August, were strengthened further last month after women's and kid's footwear showed good gains against declines a year ago. Back-to-school helped to boost sales of kid's shoes. Pumps and knee-high boots were strong sellers, but retailers struggled with ankle boots.

However the BRC warned that consumer confidence continues to be hit by rising interest rates and the wider credit crunch issues, with shoppers now more cautious about making major purchases.

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