Valentine’s Day neglected to warm the hearts of outlets with like-for-like in-store sales falling -1.6% in February, in line with accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP.

The poor performance develops from a weak benchmark of -2.2% for a similar period recently and is also another blow towards a struggling shopping mall containing seen the collapse of two household names, Toys r us and Maplin, this month. From negative bring about week 1 and 2 of February, Valentine’s week provided no respite for retailers leaving their hearts chilled with sales declining by way of a further -1.07%. The bottom started in week four when sales came by -2.42%, regardless of the same week the prior year seeing Storm Doris battering the british isles and hitting shopping sales.

According to BDO’s Standard Sales Tracker, this is the fifth consecutive year retailers have noticed sales slide in February, with the decline reflecting the extent within the challenges facing the retail sector.

As discretionary spend will continue to slow, the 3 injuries in-store indices C lifestyle, fashion and homewares – were negative recently (-0.6%, -1.9% and -4.2%) balanced with robust volume sales in essentials, including groceries.

While non-store like-for-like sales provided some respite this month (+15.8%), it was actually still the minimum monthly growth seen for non-store sales since April 2017 and the worst February since not less than 2010 when BDO records for non-store sales began.

Sophie Michael, Head of Retail and Wholesale at BDO LLP, said: “With wage growth still running behind inflation, discretionary spend is on the slide. While doing so, the shift of spend to experiences from material goods is increasing the contests faced by retailers.

“Despite tough trading conditions, retailers must always purchase adapting their business models to the ” new world ” of consumerism, the location where the customer experience is now ever more popular with the consumer purse.

“Turning on the month ahead, the snow storms may have resulted in impossible trading conditions for physical shopping. Retailers shall be focused entirely on the item offering for A birthday and Easter to have some relief from what is really a torrid start of retail swapping 2018.”

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