Homeware high street sales end early February form

Homeware sales fell on the high street, while overall sales were also down during mid-February.

According to the latest BDO High Street Sales Tracker, total like-for-like (LFL) sales fell by 0.37% for the week ending 18 February 2024.

Homeware total LFL sales fell -13.54% this week, following two weeks of positive results, from a negative base of -0.05% for the same week last year. This result marks the fifth negative so far for homewares in 2024.

Store homewares LFL sales fell by -5.49% this week from a base of +14.73% for the same week last year, marking the eighth consecutive negative result for the category.

Commenting on the results, BDO said: “Both this week and the same week last year coincided with the Spring half-term break and were punctuated by the St Valentine’s Day, which this year occurred on Wednesday, and last year fell on a Tuesday.

“This week’s negative result was due to poor store fashion and homeware sales, coupled with deeply negative non-store homeware sales.

“Meanwhile lifestyle, likely bolstered by St. Valentine’s Day related gift sales, returned healthy store and non-store LFL sales results. Store sales fell -0.96% this week from a strong base of +22.65% for the same week last year, while non-store sales grew by +2.78% failing to offset last year’s base of -7.19%.

“This week saw mild, although at times wet weather across much of the UK which led to flooding in parts of the country. In the same week last year, the UK experienced a mixture of mild days with partly sunny skies in the south while the north experienced windy, rainy days which culminated in strong winds and rain from Storm Otto.”

Overall footfall decreased by -3.9% compared to the equivalent week last year. Footfall grew by just +0.2%, following seven consecutive weeks of negative footfall results.

Both retail park and shopping centre destinations saw traffic grow year-on-year by +2.2% and +0.9% respective, while high street footfall was down -1.1% year from the same week in 2023, possibly related to the school half-term break.

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