Homeware high street sales remain negative; instore up

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

According to the latest BDO High Street Sales Tracker, total like-for-like (LFL) sales rose by 11.96% for the week ending 22 January 2023.

Homeware total LFLs dipped by 7.44% from a good base of +17.81% for the same week last year, indicating the category’s fourth consecutive negative result.

Instore homeware sales were up by +2.09% from a rebounding base of +225.47% for the same week last year, the category’s third consecutive positive result.

Total in-store LFL sales soared by +21.85% from a base of +35,760.80% for the same week last year. The bloated base figure came about due to exceptionally low base results in the equivalent week in 2021 when non-essential retails shops were locked down. Total non-store LFL sales marginally increased by +0.31%, failing to offset a negative base of -5.92% for the same week last year.

Commenting on the results, BDO said: “Strong in-store sales driven mainly by fashion and lifestyle, potentially propelled by promotions and discounting by some retailers, helped boost total LFLs. Total non-store LFLs, although positive this week, flattened to its lowest level since the final week of October 2022.

“This week saw freezing temperatures and wintry weather alongside flurries of snow and icy winds as the UK experiences a January freeze triggered by a stratospheric polar vortex. During the same week last year, the weather was largely overcast with a mixture of chilly temperatures, fog and sunshine, while some parts of the UK saw some light snow.”

Overall footfall increased by +11.4% this week compared to the corresponding week last year. The high street saw the largest footfall growth this week at +14.3%, while shopping centres equally saw double digit growth with a climb of +12.9. Recording a third consecutive week of positive results, retail park footfall grew by +3.4%.

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