BDO found lifestyle sales were down 0.4 per cent and homewares were up 2.5 per cent, while fashion fell 1.5 per cent. Non-store was up 24.8 per cent.
May 2014 was a strong month because of fine weather but May 2015 had many cold days, especially in the north. BDO said outdoor goods retailers had a "disappointing" month.
Homewares was strong but "DIY retailers failed to see the same uplift" said BDO, which surveys 85,000 non-food medium-sized retailers and 10,000 individual stores.
However, Squires Garden Centres reported a strong month in its south east centres, including a 40 per cet rise over the late May bank holiday, though Klondyke, in the north, said sales were flat this year so far.
In Scotland, New Hopetoun Gardens only hoped to make budget for May. Armitage's, which sold to Wyevale Garden Centres this week, bucked the trend for northern centres by reporting like-for-like gains for May.
See more in HW 12 June.