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.