Retailers

Retail sales fall for fifth consecutive month

Retail sales fell for the fifth month in a row in June, data from BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker has shown.

Total in-store like-for-like sales were down 1.7 percent compared with last year, when the figures rose 1.3 percent. It is also the ninth consecutive month that sales growth figures have failed to exceed one percent.

Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said: “The bleak and crippling start to the year shows no sign of abating, with deep discounting set to eat into margins that are already being stretched paper-thin by poor sales and rising costs, including the much-discussed issue of unfair business rates on high street retailers.

“These numbers confirm what many retailers have already suspected – this has been the worst first half of a calendar year for more than a decade.”

She added: “People have simply reined in their spending, online and in store, and extreme weather of snow in March and heatwaves in June has only exacerbated this trend. It will take a monumental change in fortunes on the high street to turn 2018 into anything other than an annus horribilis.”

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