Sales at UK fashion retailers bounced back in August

Sales at UK fashion retailers bounced back in August

The arrival of cold weather across the UK in August boosted sales of autumn lines such as winter coats and shoes, helping fashion retailers to bounce back from a drop in July.

BDO's High Street Sales Tracker showed like-for-like sales at fashion retailers were up 3.4% year-on-year in August.

The majority of retailers demonstrated "very healthy" growth levels, the BDO said, adding that those retailers which did struggle were the ones that came off sale too late and continued to try selling high summer wear in the cooler conditions.

Overall like-for-like sales (excluding non-store sales) increased 4.1% in the five weeks to 31 August, from to a 3.5% gain last year - marking the sixth consecutive month of growth, and the first time BDO has seen two full quarters up since 2010. This increase was driven by high consumer confidence and more money in the shopper purse.

Meanwhile, non-store sales jumped a "robust" 38.8%, with growth at its highest since January last year.

"The UK high street is far less bleak than it was this time last year," said Sophie Bevan, head of retail and wholesale at BDO. "The industry is better prepared for negative shocks and even the more challenged retailers are proving increasingly resilient.

"Consumer confidence stands at the highest we have seen it for years and the high street is proving the benefactor in what has largely been a consumer-led recovery."

But, she warned the rate of growth will level off and retailers "must prepare for this" by honing their strategies to get their products right, and deliver them in a flexible manner.