Sales in the UK bounce back in hot weather

A combination of the hot weather and bank holiday weekends helped high street sales to bounce back during April, research indicated today.

Like-for-like sales on the high street were 3.7% higher in April, compared with the same month of the previous year, according to accountancy firm BDO.

The increase followed a dismal March for retailers, when sales grew at their lowest level since January 2010.

The group credited a combination of the warm weather, the late Easter and the two bank holiday weekends seen during the month for the uplift.

Clothing sales led the revival, as retailers launched their summer ranges, with fashion sales up by 5.1% in April, compared with a year earlier.

Non-fashion sales grew by 2.3%, and homewares was the only sector that saw a dip, with sales dropping by 5.3%.

But despite the overall increase, the group remained cautious as to whether the rise marked the start of a new trend.

Don Williams, national head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said: “We always expected April to be better for the high street and these figures confirm that this has been the case.

“However, consumers may be starting to spend but we all have less money than we did a year ago. While there are tentative signs that the underlying conditions are starting to tilt in the right direction, retailers need to hold tight – we’re not out of the woods yet.”

Clothing retailer Next last week lifted its full-year profit hopes after saying the warm weather and the royal wedding bank holiday had encouraged customers to spend.

The high street giant, which has suffered from mediocre sales since a dismal Christmas season, said total sales were up by 5.2% in the 13 weeks to April 30.

More in this Section

Varadkar defends Government risk in Covid-19 small business loan schemeVaradkar defends Government risk in Covid-19 small business loan scheme

British economy grew 1.8% in May after record drop in AprilBritish economy grew 1.8% in May after record drop in April

France to unveil 'massive' stimulus this week to stop youth unemployment soaringFrance to unveil 'massive' stimulus this week to stop youth unemployment soaring

Irish e-scooter firm included in UK's post-Covid alternative public transport trialsIrish e-scooter firm included in UK's post-Covid alternative public transport trials


Lifestyle

Conservationist Giles Clark takes on the illegal wildlife trade, as well as the task of building a bear sanctuary in Laos, South-east Asia, in BBC Two series Bears About The House.Five minutes with ... Giles Clark

Forget G-spots. Let's focus on the C-spot and close the orgasm gap once and for all.Sex File: The G-spot is dead. Long live the C-spot

Workshop leaders from the West Cork Literary Festival offer tips for writing in areas such as biography, short stories and travel, writes Des O’DriscollSo you want to be a writer?

'He told us we were so scared of dying, we forgot how to live” - Guru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment is this week's podcast pickPodcast Corner: Guru tells of sweat-lodge tragedy and James Arthur Ray

More From The Irish Examiner