RETAIL UPDATE: Sales enter negative territory in May

Like for likes fall 1.5 per cent according to latest edition of BDO Stoy Hayward High Street Sales Tracker.
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Following a better than expected March and April, trading conditions weakened in May with like-for-like sales falling 1.5 per cent according to the latest BDO Stoy Hayward High Street Sales Tracker.

However, given the current economic environment, this was a relatively strong performance, indicating that consumer spending is still holding up surprisingly well.

"Despite some tentative signs that the economy is starting to improve, retailers are still finding life on the High Street especially tough - particularly as concerns about unemployment continue unabated," said Rupert Eastell, head of retail at BDO Stoy Hayward.

"However, it's not all doom and gloom as we're seeing retailers who stock compelling products are still in demand. Great products, coupled with the warmer weather have meant that many retailers are continuing to outperform the poor expectations assumed at the start of the year.

"Although we still believe demand may fall back again in the coming months, and would caution against calling the bottom of the market, these results bode well for the remainder of 2009."

Fashion retailers saw takings decrease in May, with like-for-like sales down 3.4 per cent; non fashion, however, rose by fiver per cent for the month; but homeware was down 7.2 per cent.


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