Independent clothing and footwear retailers saw sales dip in the last quarter of 2011 according to the British Independent Retailers Association’s (Bira) Quarterly Sales Monitor.
Clothing and footwear indies completed the year with a full set of quarterly declines, with sales dropping by 1.4% in the three months to December 31. Bira said the declines could be down to the effects of widespread discounting. Across the whole year sales dipped 2.5%.
Indies in the Midlands saw the largest improvement in the quarter compared to last year, with sales increasing by 7.9%. Indies in Scotland saw the steepest decline with sales dropping by 8.3%.
Across independents from all sectors, Bira saw the highest proportion of members reporting a year-on-year increase for the quarter since the survey first began in 2007, with sales rising on average 1.57%. It was the first quarter in the past seven in which more independents enjoyed higher sales than suffered a decrease.
Of those surveyed 49% said they felt “reasonably confident” about the year ahead, however 48% said they felt anxious and just 3% said they felt “very confident”.