RETAIL UPDATE: Encouraging signs from High Street

Samantha Loveday

By Samantha Loveday

May 1st 2009 at 10:37AM
RETAIL UPDATE: Encouraging signs from High Street

BDO sales tracker reports resilient demand in many areas of retail.

Medium-sized retailers were reporting resilient demand in a number of areas during April, according to the latest edition of the BDO Stoy Hayward High Street Sales Tracker.

Overall, like for like sales across mid-market retailers increased by 1.7 per cent in April compared to last year.

Apart from the Easter calendar shift, which boosted demand for gifting and luxury items, sales were also positively influenced by healthy demand for seasonal fashion rages. Good stock availability and ongoing promotional activity also drove demand, as did the weather.

However, there were some noticeable disparities between sectors. While sales across many fashion and specialised non-fashion stores rose during the month by 2.7 and 2.3 per cent respectively, homeware retailers saw a steep drop in sales of 7.9 per cent.

“A second consecutive month of positive like for likes is, without a doubt, very encouraging,” said Rupert Eastell, head of retail at BDO Stoy Hayward. “It would seem that, despite the gloomy headlines, consumers are adjusting well to the harsher economic environment and retailers are being very shrewd at stimulating demand.

“Although we still expect conditions will remain very challenging in the coming months, underlying demand does seem to have picked up.”