Like-for-like (LFL) in-store sales were down by 10.1% in the month of March, making it the second worst figures on record for UK retail.
BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker report said the poor sales was largely attributed to the snowy weather.
According to the business advisory firm’s records, the only worse month was November 2008 (-10.6%), when the UK was gripped by a financial crisis and heavy snowfall.
Lifestyle sales saw a fall of 4.5% when compared to last year, while fashion and homewares saw decreases of 12.7% and 13.2 respectively.
Non-store LFLs were up by 11.0% in March from a strong base of 28.1% seen last year. The non-store result for March this year was the lowest monthly growth seen since December 2015 which had an increase of 7.5%.
Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said: “March was a brutal month for stores. The weather was severe, and shoppers’ reaction showed how paper-thin consumer confidence is currently.”