Fashion sales boosted by January clearance

While consumers took more to online shopping than the high street over Christmas, they didn't forsake it during the January sales as the high street bounced back after a lacklustre holiday season.

Overall sales last month grew an impressive 1.4 percent, driven mainly by a strong first fortnight when consumers shopped bit time in new year clearance sales, according to BDO's high street tracker.

Online sales up 20 percent

Highlight of the month had to be 20.02 percent year-on-year leap in online sales. But then there was also a 6.8 percent sales bounce recorded by fashion retailers in January’s second week, although that dropped to a still-strong 4.24 percent in the final week when the promotional season officially ended. Overall, fashion sales rose 1.9 percent across the month.

The lifestyle sector increased sales 0.3 percent across January and homewares sales grew 0.8 percent.

BDO’s December figures, down 5.3 percent on-year, was the worst Christmas trading on the high street since 2008, so there was plenty of stock still to shift and, thankfully, retailers managed to attract droves of bargain hunters across the traditional January sale period.

Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said: "The lull between Black Friday and the January sales was particularly noticeable at the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016. Retailers might be getting better at attracting the new generation of savvier shoppers in discounting periods, but margins will suffer unless they sell full-price stock too. "The strong retail performers demonstrate that consumers are willing to pay full price if they see a desirable product. The stores that will thrive in 2016 will be the ones who combine a strong customer service proposition with an attractive brand and a compelling product mix."

Image:UK high street


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