High street retail has best October since 2012

Total like-for-like sales in October were up by +0.7 per cent as the BDO High Street Sales Tracker moved into positive territory for the first time since January 2016.

In-store sales of homeware and lifestyle goods propelled the tracker to its best October result
since 2012.

Unusually warm weather also helped garden centre sales, as plant sales rose by up to 18 per cent.

October was the driest since 1946, the Met said with 35 per cent less rainfall than normal. It was the 25th hottest October since 1910, with sunshine 9-24 per cent above average.

Sales of lifestyle goods grew by 2.3 per cent in October and homewares saw an increase of 11.6 per cent, BDO found.
Non-store sales recovered to +19.5 per cent after a dropping to just +12.6 per cent in September.
Fashion goods still struggled in the unseasonably warm weather. Like-for-like fashion sales were negative in three out of five weeks in October, see-sawing between a low of -5.2 per cent to a high of +2 per cent. While the overall monthly return for fashion retailers was a fall of -0.9 per cent, it was
still the best month since January.
BDO said: "The return to growth will be a huge boost to stores as they head into the crucial Christmas
period. With ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ just around the corner, many stores would have been preparing to sacrifice margins in pursuit of sales volume. But with consumer confidence boosted by low unemployment and encouraging figures from the post-referendum economy, consumers have been spending with a freedom not seen since the January sales.

Meanwhile, the British Retail Consortium have reported that overall shop prices reported deflation of 1.7 per cent in October from the 1.8 per cent decline in September. This is slightly behind the three-month average of -1.8 per cent.


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