Homeware high street sales remain negative; footfall up

Homeware sales remained in negative territory on the high street, while footfall delivered double-digit growth for a fourth straight week.

According to the latest BDO High Street Sales Tracker, total like-for-like (LFL) sales rose by 12.79% for the week ending 15 January 2023.

Homeware total LFLs dropped by 1.83% from a good base of +17.18% for the same week last year, indicating the category’s eighth negative result in the last ten weeks.

Instore homeware sales grew by +3.20% from a rebounding base of +44.57% for the same week last year, the category’s sixth positive result in the last ten weeks.

Total in-store LFL sales jumped by +19.58 from a base of +12,152.87% for the same week last year. The inflated base figure reflects the rebounding effects associated with the closure of bricks-and-mortar venues during the third national lockdown in 2021. Total non-store LFL sales climbed by +4.99% from a negative base of -1.16% in the same week last year and have now held firm in positive territory for the last eleven weeks.

Commenting on the results, BDO said: “This week’s total LFL sales were buoyed by strong fashion sales, which may have been driven in part by a combination of ongoing promotions by some retailers and an expected spell of chilly weather. In-store sales were steady across segments, with homewares posting its second consecutive positive outcome, however, total homeware LFLs fell into the negative zone due to weak online sales.

“This week, the weather was warmer than usual with a mixture of overcast skies, drizzle and heavy rain culminating in stronger winds towards the end of the week, while heavier rain led to weather warnings and flooding in parts of the UK. In the same week last year, the weather was slightly cooler but with lighter and fewer patches of rain as well as much calmer winds.”

Overall footfall rose by +11.2% this week compared to the equivalent week in 2022. Both the high street and shopping centres enjoyed double digit growth for the fourth successive week, at +14.3% and +12.7% respectively. Retail parks equally saw a second consecutive week of positive year-on-year growth at +3.1%.    

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