Warmer weather across the UK in October hampered fashion sales

Warmer weather across the UK in October hampered fashion sales

The UK's warmest Halloween on record marked the end of a difficult October for fashion retailers, with many having to mark down winter clothing early to keep shoppers spending.

BDO's High Street Sales Tracker showed like-for-like sales at fashion retailers fell 1.3% year-on-year in October.

Fashion sales could arguably have been worse but the high levels of promotional activity have helped bolster like-for-like results. Much of the discounting was on outerwear rather than the more periphery lines as is typical of this time of year, the BDO said.

Overall like-for-like sales (excluding non-store sales) climbed 0.2% in the five weeks to 2 November from a 0.4% fall last year. Non-store sales continued to grow - up 31.1%.

Sophie Bevan, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said the extended period of warm weather meant fashion retailers had had to sacrifice margins to keep up momentum.

"The good news is that consumer confidence is high; even with the unseasonable weather, sales are still moving forward in the run up to Christmas," she added.

"Retailers should take this time to focus on getting their logistics right. The winners will demonstrate that not only are they spot on with their product, but their online platforms work together with their physical stores, bringing a full stock availability to the customer and ensuring that delivery and collection points are at the consumers' convenience."