The report is based on sales information and is submitted directly by independents via a dedicated BSSA website.
It found that 57% of the total 218 respondents across all sectors reported better trading than for the same time last year. The overall performance was 1.9% ahead, but fashion indies reported a 1% increase.
The report also showed significant regional differences. Northern Ireland businesses reported the best average growth, at 5% ahead of last year. South-west England came next, with average growth of 4.3%. The worst performance was in the north-west, where sales slumped by 3.6% on average.
BSSA chief executive John Dean said retailer confidence was “very fragile”, and this was affecting smaller businesses more than larger ones. “Smaller retailers feel very much under siege. They feel threatened by larger multiples in terms of the timing of going on Sale and they are desperate to maintain their margins,” he said.
For the second BSSA sales monitor, independent retailers are invited to submit sales data in the first two weeks of January for the three months ending December 31. All data is strictly confidential. The results will be published at the end of January. Log on to the breaking news section of www.british-shops.co.uk for more information.