Belfast Telegraph

June proves a washout for UK retailers

By Josie Clarke

UK high streets suffered a washout June as miserable weather and falling consumer confidence created a perfect storm for retailers.

Store sales fell by 0.8% off last June's already weak benchmark of a 1.7% drop as early summer sale discounting failed to salvage a month marked by slowed waged and falling confidence, BDO's High Street Sales Tracker shows.

The poor figures mark 16 out of 17 consecutive months of no in-store sales growth.

As discretionary spending continues to slow, lifestyle sales performed especially poorly, falling 3.5% in June from a 0.3% fall last year. The weather led to flat fashion sales, with retailers unable to improve on last year's 2.3% drop despite early summer sales.

Homeware was the lone bright spot with a 5.6% increase in sales, although also off a 2.4% fall last June.

Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said: "June was another washout month for the high street.

"We saw retailers discount early on in June, adding further pressure to tight margins."

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