High street retailers suffered their worst February in a decade, despite warmer than average weather.
In-store sales were down 3.7% on February last year, the worst figures for the month since 2009, according to BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker.
Sales were down 1.6% in February last year and have fallen for 13 consecutive months.
Non-store sales rose by 12.4% in February compared with 15.8% a year earlier.
Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said: “Consumer confidence is teetering on the precipice and shoppers are resisting unnecessary spending.
“Lifestyle, a category that would normally see a lift thanks to Valentine’s Day, suffered the worst monthly result since 2008. It’s clear that shoppers are exercising extreme caution.
“It has been a tough start to the year for the sector and retailers are continuing to fill headlines with poor performances.”