Total sales figures from BDO Stoy Hayward's Like-for-Like Club have shown another dip of 0.6 per cent for the week ending March 8th, with little evidence of any sustained improvement in conditions.
Although fashion retailers experienced a better week, with some stores reporting higher demand for the first time since January, sales still remained in negative territory, down 2.4 per cent. Increased promotional activity helped support some growth, with young fashion brands once again outperforming.
Sales continued to retreat in the homewares sector, falling by 7.6 per cent. However, in non-fashion, sales increased by 6.1 per cent. Gifting, health and beauty and some luxury stores benefitted from Mother's Day activity, while general household demand also held up.
"Non-fashion sales in particular were helped by distortions around the later timing of Mother's Day this year," said Rupert Eastell, head of retail at BDO Stoy Hayward. "In addition, a new round of discounting by some of the larger department stores, echoed by some mid-market stores, also probably helped boost footfall across the whole High Street, as did better weekend weather."