UK: Fashion sales dampened by cold weather in May
Fashion sales fell last month in the face of the coldest spring in 50 years, according to accountancy and consultancy firm BDO.
Its monthly High Street Sales Tracker found that like-for-like fashion sales slipped by 1.4% with discounting of spring lines coming later and lighter this year.
Overall like-for-like high street sales, meanwhile, edged up 0.8%.
"We're seeing less over commitment to stock levels, which allows retailers to hold out a bit longer for better weather and full price sales," said Don Williams, national head of retail and wholesale at BDO.
He added that if retailers are working to build enough flexibility in their strategy to switch tactics and discount if shoppers refuse to buy at full price.
"Clearly their margins will take a hit, but many retailers have been working to protect margins through strong focus on costs and increasing efficiency in the supply chain.
"By factoring in lower sales forecasts and not over-committing to initial stock purchases, retailers are striving to avoid the cash flow difficulties that led to ‘blood on the high street' in previous years."
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