Fashion shines in June supported by steady online demand - BDO
Positive news for UK fashion retailers on Friday. Total like-for-like fashion sales skyrocketed 73.7% in June, albeit from a base of -20.9% for June last year, bolstered in part by steady spending online. June also marked the fourth consecutive month of positive total LFLs for fashion, the latest High Street Sales Tracker report from BDO shows.
Online spending, most notably among fashion retailers, also bolstered overall growth. Total non-store like-for-like sales rose a steady 8.2% last month despite the substantial base (+102.6%) set during June 2020.
Elsewhere, Lifestyle total like-for-like sales increased 50.9% in June, but from a base of -23.9% for the equivalent month last year. The result marks the fourth straight month of positive total LFLs for lifestyle “due to consistently positive results throughout June despite diminished online sales”.
Homeware sales also recorded a strong June, as shoppers kitted out their homes ahead of the Euros. Total like-for-like sales rose +22% in June from a base of +25.5% for the same month last year.
According to BDO, total like-for-like sales, combining in-store and online, leapt 52.1% in June, though from a base of -14.4% for the equivalent month last year.
Sporadic summer weather, underpinned by England’s success in the Euros football tournament, meant June retail sales not only rebounded, but also started to make up for some of the losses of last year, the accountancy and business advisory firm noted.
With non-essential retailers having been allowed to reopen from the middle of June last year, the final two weeks of the month this year were much better than the same fortnight of 2020 and this “demonstrated the strength of this year’s reopening compared to last year”.
Sales jumped 41.74% in the third week from a poor base (-7.07%) fa year earlier. The final week of June saw total like-for-likes improve by 37.8% from a base of -15.54% for the same week in 2020.
Sophie Michael, head of Retail and Wholesale at BDO LLP, said: “These June figures continue to build on April and May’s results, with growing consumer confidence sustaining a rosy summer recovery.
“Much progress is being made in this reopening phase, with week-three and four’s results demonstrating the strength of the recovery and suggesting an uplift in sales even when compared to a more ‘normal’ year. With higher footfall, more in-store spending and online sales still increasing above pre-pandemic levels, there are many reasons to be optimistic.
But she had a warning too: “The retail sector may soon face a major logistics challenge, with supply pressures restricting the availability of stock to meet this pent-up demand. With the threat of inflation also looming on the horizon, it remains to be seen if the summer boom can be sustained in to the autumn”.
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