Changing weather helps retailers

Spring’s belated arrival has helped to get the tills ringing again at high street clothing retailers.

Accountancy firm BDO’s monthly sales tracker report – released today – shows overall like-for-like sales grew by 1.3 per cent last month. The figure would have been higher had Easter fallen in April this year instead of March.

While fashion sales expanded by just 0.6 per cent in the month, retailers had been braced for a heavy fall as the poor weather in the first half of April killed demand for spring ranges. However, as the weather warmed up, shoppers’ pent-up demand was released and 
the final week of the month saw 13 per cent like-for-like growth in the fashion sector.

Non-fashion sales, meanwhile, grew by 3.4 per cent in April and, thanks to the beginning of “renovation season”, homewares were up 1.2 per cent year-on-year.

The BDO sales tracker analyses like-for-like spending at non-grocery retailers with annual sales of between £5 million and £500m.