The tentative recovery in High Street spending strengthened during October, with mid market retailers reporting a 2.1 per cent rise in like for like sales.
The latest edition of the BDO High Street Sales Tracker stated that reports of improving sales were widespread on the back of stronger core footfall levels.
Big gains were made in a number of non-fashion categories (5.0 per cent), while homeware trade improved significantly during the second half of the month (down 1.3 per cent). Demand for winter clothing was held back by the unseasonably warm weather, but fashion sales still rose modestly (1.6 per cent).
"A second consecutive month of positive like for likes is a heartening development for retailers," said Don Williams, head of retail at BDO LLP. "However, these results should be taken in the context of how far sales have fallen over the last year.
"On the whole, I am positive that retailers will enjoy a better Christmas than last year, helped by the fact that shoppers will be trying to avoid January's VAT rise. Post Christmas, we expect the New Year will continue to be challenging for retailers."