Christmas high street sales steady

High street sales have moderated and non-store sales have made steady growth this week according to a survey by BDO.

High street sales are up by 4.5% for the week ending 13 December, with consistent gains made across both fashion and non fashion, according to the latest figures from BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker.

Non-fashion sales were up by 5.6%, driven by demand for luxury and gifts. However growth was uneven with some retailers struggling to beat last years depressed figures.

Fashion sales grew by 5%, continuing its strong run, although growth was down compared to the previous two weeks, which analysts suggest is because retailers are generally discounting less this year.

Non-store sales made a steady growth of 39.3%, with fashion retailers reporting the strongest upturn.

Homewares sales decreased by 0.04% after three positive weeks, with big ticket purchases struggling the most. However smaller ticket items made gains against last year.

Head of retail at BDO Don Williams says: “Unlike last year, when we were seeing deep discounts across the board, it appears that retailers are now looking for margin instead of volume and waiting until the Boxing Day sales to introduce significant price reductions.”

Department store John Lewis also saw weekly sales figures increase, on the previous week by 7% and by 15.1% up on last year. Their figures showed strong fashion, childrenswear, toys and crafts sales.

Traffic on their website was at an all time high and had a focus on gift purchases.

British Retail Consortium economist, Richard Lim, says: “Most retailers are now reasonably sure of a better Christmas than last year’s dire performance.”

However, other retail sales surveys show mixed findings, with the Office of National Statistics showing a drop in retail sales in November.

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