BDO: High Street sales lift in June, despite big name closures

TJ Hughes, Habitat and Jane Norman have gone, but consumers continue to spend.
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It was the month which saw TJ Hughes and Jane Norman close for good, while Habitat's presence on the High Street was also severely depleted - however, according to BDO's High Street Sales Tracker, consumers continued to spend throughout June.

Sales for the month were up 2.6 per cent on a like for like basis. Seasonal promotions boosted year on year fashion sales by 0.7 per cent in the five weeks to July 3rd, while non fashion grew 4.1 per cent and homewares a very healthy 14.7 per cent.

"There have been warnings in the media of a 'black September' for the High Street, but these figures suggest the market will remain steady, if uninspiring, until the Christmas season," said Don Williams, national head of retail and wholesale at BDO LLP.

"The pressures on consumer spending are unlikely to change between now and the end of the year, and there are no more major public holidays like the Royal Wedding to boost sales. The only other factor that can have a universal effect on the High Street is the weather, but even that is unlikely to spark variations of more than two per cent.

"Retailers will have to work hard to encourage cautious consumers to spend. This environment will polarise the operators; the strong will benefit, but the weak will fail."

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