Mid-market retailers reported a 2.1% uplift in like-for-like sales in October, marking a tentative recovery in high street spending.

According to the BDO High Street Sales Tracker, improving sales were widespread on the back of stronger core footfall levels. Gains were made in several non-fashion categories, and homewares improved significantly during the second half of the month. Demand for winter clothing was held back by the unseasonably warm weather, but fashion sales still rose modestly.

Fashion like-for-like sales were up 1.6% - the first increase since April – while non-fashion like-for-likes rose 5% and homewares were down 1.3%

BDO head of retail Don Williams said: “A second consecutive month of positive like-for-likes is a heartening development for retailers. However, these results should be taken in the context of how far sales have fallen over the last year.

“On the whole I am positive that retailers will enjoy a better Christmas than last year, helped by the fact that shoppers will be trying to avoid January’s VAT rise. Post-Christmas, we expect the new year will continue to be challenging for retailers.”