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Online sales show ‘impressive’ rise

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Internet sales are continuing their “impressive” upward trend, the latest BDO High Street Sales Tracker shows today. But the World Cup and good weather, said BDO, continued to keep football fans off the high street.

The latest tracker showed that online and mail order sales grew by 38.9% in the week ending June 20. Clearance promotions helped continued impressive levels of growth, said BDO.

But overall like-for-like sales grew by a weak 1.7%, compared to the previous week. On the high street, seasonal sales had a lesser effect than might be expected. Fashion sales grew by 2.1%, while non-fashion grew by just 1.9%. Homewares saw a reduction in the level of sales growth fall, by -1.7%, for the first time since March. Furniture and big ticket items suffered the most, said BDO.

Don Williams, head of retail at BDO LLP, said: “Trade was varied this week. Whilst overall sales remained positive, underlying trends suggest that demand is beginning to weaken. With the exception of a handful of stores, the seasonal boost from summer clearance promotions was significantly less marked this week.

“Fewer people were visiting retail centres, as the combination of great weather and the anticipation around England’s fate in the World Cup have kept people away from the high street.”

Our view: This analysis doesn’t make mention of the emergency Budget, but speculation before the announcement was so high that we’d be so bold as to speculate ourselves that it may have had an effect on retail sales. We’ll look with interest at next week’s figures, which will reflect directly on Budget week itself.

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