Garden centres have recorded a positive month in what is one of the quietest times of the year, but half price sales on items such as garden furniture and plants at garden centres such as Wyevale have helped incomes. Weather in July has helped garden centres, with average England temperatures 0.5C up and rainfall 62 per cent of the average, though Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were cooler and wetter.
Overall sales of fashion goods for the month were down one per cent compared to July 2015 say BDO. Following one of the wettest Junes on record, stores were forced to sacrifice margins in a bid to increase sales volumes and clear warehouses piled high with summer stock.
Homewares sales grew by 4.7 per cent and sales of lifestyle goods crept up by one per cent - the sector’s strongest performance in four months.
Non-store sales rose by 21.7 per cent, the strongest performance in 2016 so far, and the sector’s best performance since September 2015. In stark contrast to bricks and mortar sales, some fashion retailers reported double – or even triple – online growth in July, and a high proportion of homewares and lifestyle retailers also saw strong online sales growth, again achieved through deeper discounts and promotions being offered online.