Retailers enjoyed a robust growth in March fashion sales, driven by sunny weather, new figures show.
After the UK saw the worst storms for two decades in February, the Spring sunshine fed increasing consumer confidence and strong sales of new season lines, helping the fashion sector grow 4.3% year-on-year, according to accountancy firm BDO.
Despite reports of falling footfall on the high street, BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker shows overall like-for-like sales growth among mid-market retailers up 3.2% – the strongest March in four years.
BDO national head of Retail and Wholesale Don Williams said that retailers who have held their nerve on discounting have reaped rewards as the weather has improved, selling healthy volumes of new stock at full price.
“This momentum will serve them well as we head into the Easter holidays, which should register strong like-for-like growth given that Easter fell at the end of March last year,” he added.
"The figures also suggest that footfall is no longer as reliable an indicator as it used to be. Quality retailers offering consumers what they want – great products, great customer service, omnichannel buying options and flexible delivery – are able to protect both volumes and margins, despite fewer people physically visiting stores."