Homeware high street sales start year with decline

Homeware sales returned to negative territory on the high street, while footfall delivered a mixed bag.

According to the latest BDO High Street Sales Tracker, total like-for-like (LFL) sales rose by 14.62% for the week ending 1 January 2023.

Homeware total LFLs dropped by 13.36% from a good base of +17.79% for the same week last year, marking the category’s seventh negative result in the last ten weeks.

Instore homeware sales fell by 10.91% from a rebounding base of +207.02% for the same week last year, denoting its fourth negative result in the last ten weeks and its sharpest fall since the second week of August 2022.

Total in-store LFL sales climbed by +20.45% from a base of +455.77% for the same week last year. Last year’s LFLs, however, demonstrated the rebound effects associated with the closure of physical trading under Tier 4 lockdowns in the year prior. Total non-store LFL sales increased by +6.03% from a positive base of +1.96% for the same week last year.

Commenting on the results, BDO said: “Despite bank holidays on Monday and Tuesday connected to the Christmas and Boxing Day period, total LFL sales were propelled by continued seasonal shopping in the lead up to New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, likely reflecting post-Christmas promotions and sales.

“This week’s weather was unpredictable with intermittent rain, showers and strong gusts mixed with intervals of sunny spells. During the same week in 2022, parts of the UK saw sporadic showers amidst cloudy and misty conditions.”

Overall footfall climbed by +10.2% this week compared to the corresponding week in 2022. Both high street and shopping centre footfall saw double digit growth figures, with the former leading this week with +14.0% and the latter lodging a strong growth of +12.4%. Retail parks, on the other hand, saw negative footfall as growth flattened by -0.3%.

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