UK: Fashion retail sales improve in January
Fashion sales grew 7.3% on a like-for-like basis in January
A combination of pent-up demand and shoppers holding out for discounts helped UK fashion sales improve in January, according to new research.
The BDO High Street Sales Tracker showed fashion sales grew 7.3% on a like-for-like basis during the month, reversing the 4.6% year-on-year drop in December.
Overall like-for-like sales among mid-market retailers rose 8% year-on-year - the biggest rise since January 2011. This growth was also helped by a 10.7% increase in non-fashion sales.
The improvement, however, is measured against a very poor month last year when sales were decimated by heavy snow.
Don Williams, national head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said: "Caution might sound like a surprising response to a three-year high but it shouldn't be underestimated how tough the last few years have been."
Volumes are being held back, he noted, and will also be hit as many retailers delay a return to full pricing.
But he added: "January has undoubtedly moved in the right direction but this has been stimulated by shoppers holding out for cut prices.
"It is not until the high street settles down to normalised pricing in February that we will be able to see whether consumer confidence has got a toe hold and start to see how the year may unfold."
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