Latest figures from BDO Stoy Hayward showed that overall like for like sales across mid market retailers fell by 1.4 per cent in August compared to last year.
Non fashion sales for the month rose on the back of solid demand for luxury and leisure goods, while the resurgance in homeware continued, helped by the better housing market.
However, fashion retailers saw takings drop for a fourth month in a row, with like for like sales down 2.6 per cent.
"These are broadly encouraging results as they suggest the decline in sales is easing," said Don Williams, head of retail at BDO Stoy Hayward. "Trade does seem to have finally bottomed out with even home-related sales now appearing to have arrested their decline."