The latest edition of the BDO Stoy Hayward High Street Sales Tracker has shown the growth of the homewares sector for the first time in 12 months in July.
After a year of uninterrupted decline, homewares like for likes rose by 1.2 per cent. Demand was up in most areas, with furniture and textiles the most positive.
However, fashion sales declined steeply, reflecting the fact that consumers were reluctant to buy summer ranges given the unsettled weather. It is thought that the swine flu outbreak may also have impacted footfall.
Fashion retailers experienced a like for like sales fall of 4.2 per cent during the month. Demand was reported to be soft in most areas, with only a handful of stores bucking the general negative picture.
Non-fashion like for like sales, meanwhile, increased by 1.2 per cent.
“The strong rebound in homewares has certainly provided some long overdue good news for retailers in those sectors,” commented Don Williams, retailer partner at BDO Stoy Hayward. “However, fashion had a particularly difficult month due to a lack of ‘barbecue weather’. This supports our view that the recovery in consumer spending is patchy and by no means uniform.”