Furniture sales boost high street growth back into positive territory for the first time in nine months.
According to the latest BDO High Street Sales Tracker for the five weeks to 31 October 2016, total sales rose by 0.7% year-on-year, ending a run of monthly sales falls that began with a -1.7% fall in February.
Furniture and soft furnishings drove Homeware like-for-like sales up by 11.6%, its fourth consecutive positive month and its best October result since 2012, as well as a fourth straight month as the high street’s top performing category.
Other sectors included lifestyle goods, up by 2.3%, Non-store sales, which recovered to +19.5% after a dropping to just +12.6% in September, whilst fashion sales remained negative, down by 0.9%.
Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO LLP, said: “Shoppers have reminded everyone of their resilience and this result provides a promising start to a crucial trading quarter. Prices will inevitably rise next year in the context of the falling pound, but right now people are remarkably upbeat about their finances.
“Retailers have a perfect window of opportunity to push full price lines for the next few weeks and claw back their margins prior to Black Friday. A strong product and service proposition will be critical for wooing shoppers while there is an appetite to spend.”