Homeware high street sales return to growth

Homeware sales returned to positive territory on the high street, while footfall growth slowed.

According to the latest BDO High Street Sales Tracker, total like-for-like (LFL) sales rose by 6.86% for the week ending 26 February 2023.

Homeware total LFLs inched up by +0.73% from a negative base of -8.42% for the same week last year, denoting the category’s first positive result for 2023.

Store homeware sales also rose by +9.06%, from a rebounding base of +461.83% for the same week last year, marking the category’s eighth consecutive positive result.

Total in-store LFL sales rose by +4.40%, from a base of +5,087.62% for the same week last year. The base figure appears inflated owing to coming off a significantly low base result in the equivalent week in 2021 when retail shops were closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Total non-store LFL sales climbed by +7.16%, but from a weak base of -23.96% for the same week last year.

Commenting on the results, BDO said: “Total LFL sales slowed relatively this week as bricks-and-mortar venues saw somewhat sluggish results leading to the in-store channel’s lowest growth since the final week of November 2022. Nonetheless, total homewares edged into positive territory for the first time in 2023 as total non-store LFLs equally rose after two negative weeks back-to-back.

“The week started fairly cloudy if mild but ended slightly colder with frost and outbreaks of showers in parts of the country. The same week last year saw a mix of cooler temperatures with overcast, rainfall and snow in northern of the UK.”

Overall footfall slightly increased by +1.2% this week compared to the corresponding week last year, with the high street leading the way with a growth of +3.7%. On the other hand, shopping centre footfall dropped by -0.2%, its first fall into the red since the last week of September 2022. Footfall at retail parks also declined by -2.7%.

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