Belfast Telegraph

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High street's four-year low for January

By Josie Clarke

The UK high street has suffered its worst January sales period in four years as shoppers shunned the discounted racks to spend online, figures show.

January's like-for-like sales fell by 0.1%, the first negative growth over the crucial discounting period since 2013 and straight after a dismal December that also saw a year-on-year drop of 0.1%, according to the BDO High Street Sales Tracker (HSST).

BDO said the lack of spending in the busiest two months of the year had left retailers "nervous", with shoppers facing inflation, price increases and political uncertainty ahead.

High street fashion sales were hit hardest in January, down 1% year-on-year, after three consecutive weeks of negative growth. The cold snap in the third week of January drove shoppers away from the high street, sending like-for-like store sales plummeting by 4.46%.

Online sales grew 26.6%.

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