Retailers have suffered their worst June in almost 10 years as consumers chose to spend on leisure rather than shopping.
Like-for-like store sales across the industry slid 2% in June, according to the BDO High Street Sales Tracker.
The advisory firm observed that the performance was “very disappointing given supposed raised consumer confidence” and said the sales fall was “the worst overall decline seen in June since 2006”.
Although Father’s Day prompted an uplift in the third week of June, all retail categories suffered over the month. Homewares, down 3.9%, was the hardest hit.
Fashion retailers’ performance was polarised.
BDO noted: “Lower levels of footfall coupled with lower sales conversions overall meant disappointing takings, and the discounting introduced in the final two weeks of the month by many retailers was unable to lift sales significantly.
“Designer retailers were boosted in the third week of the month by increased sales for Fathers’ Day.”
High street footfall was down every week but retail parks held up.
Non-store sales growth slowed, but was still up 21.8% over the month.
BDO head of retail and wholesale Sophie Michael said: “Traditionally, positive messages about the economy would have meant an increase in consumer spending.
“Despite the Government and the Bank of England indicating a greater disposable income, store footfall is down and retailers are struggling to convince people to spend their cash with them.
“Fashion retailers have also started to discount heavily as the weather improves, but this may have a detrimental effect on margins and stock levels later in the summer.”
The BDO High Street Sales Tracker is compiled using weekly like-for-like sales data from 85 medium-sized retailers with about 10,000 stores.
Why June’s sales data differs
Different organisations have reported different results for June. Watch our video here to find out why.