Homeware sales slipped back into negative territory on the high street, ending four consecutive weeks of positive sales.
According to the latest BDO High Street Sales Tracker, total like-for-like (LFL) sales fell by 11.67% for the week ending 26 March 2023.
Homeware total LFLs were down by 3.66% from a negative base of 5.07% for the same week last year, denoting the category’s ninth negative result for 2023.
Store homeware sales climbed by +8.40% from a rebounding base of +84.08% for the same week last year, indicating the category’s twelfth consecutive positive result.
Total in-store LFL sales tumbled by -9.03% from a base of +13,591.14% for the same week last year. The inflated base figure displays the impact of rebounding sales in the same week last year, which compared to the year prior when physical trading was still restricted due to the pandemic. Total non-store LFL sales slumped by -17.66% from an already weak base of -4.70% for the same week last year.
Commenting on the results, BDO said: “This week saw total sales record its weakest result since the third week of January 2021. This week last year included Mothering Sunday, and in the same week in 2021 further announcements were made about the gradual end of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
“Total in-store sales fell to its lowest since the third week of March 2021, drawn down by weak lifestyle and fashion LFL sales, while total non-store returned its weakest result since the first week of March 2022.
“This week saw colder conditions, heavy bursts of rain and gales, while northern parts of the UK saw lingering frost and snow caused by an Artic breeze. In contrast, the same week last year saw Spring-like weather with predominantly sunny and clear conditions.”
Overall footfall declined by -5.9% compared to the equivalent week last year, marking its lowest result since the penultimate week of March 2021. In the same vein, high street footfall saw its steepest fall since March 2021 when the country was in lockdown as it dropped by -9.9%. Shopping centre footfall recorded its lowest result (-1.7%) for 2023 so far, while retail park footfall equally fell by -1.9%.