Fashion sales suffer in February despite warmer weather

Warm temperatures and Valentine’s Day did little to boost fashion sales in February, according to BDO’s latest High Street Sales Tracker.

In-store like-for-like fashion sales declined by 3.5 percent in February from an already-poor base of -1.9 percent last year. Overall in-store sales declined 3.7 percent, following a 1.6 percent drop in the same period last year. Negative in-store sales were recorded every week in February.

“Consumer confidence is teetering on the precipice and shoppers are resisting unnecessary spending,” BDO head of retail Sophie Michael commented in the report.

“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.

“Brexit uncertainty is proving to have a disproportionate impact on discretionary spending and there’s an increasing sense of nervousness among retailers.”


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