High Street sales continue to fall in December as retailers faced worst sales on record

Lamont Pridmore - Accountants

For the sixth year in a row, sales have fallen on Britain’s high streets in December.

According to a recent survey, high street sales in-store have dropped by 1.9 per cent in December compared to last year.

It has also been found that last year was the worst on record for like-for-like sales, with 11 subsequent months of negative sales growth since January.

Both lifestyle and fashion retailers saw a dip in sales of 3.9 per cent and 2.0 per cent respectively. Lifestyle retailers saw a growth in sales of 17.47 per cent later in the month as price reductions began.

The only growth to be seen in sales was homeware which saw a 9.3 per cent growth in sales in-store and 11.9 per cent growth online in December as people prepared for the Christmas period. A massive boost of 24.04 per cent in growth was seen as stores introduced post-Christmas sales.

Experts believe that that the findings highlight how low customer confidence is and shoppers have exercised extreme caution or shopped strategically online, seeking out discounts rather than visiting brick-and-mortar stores or making impulse purchases.

This is backed up by the fact that non-store sales grew 11.9 per cent in December, with the largest amount of sales being in the first and last weeks of the month.

Last year saw the collapse of a number of high profile retail stores including BHS, Toys R Us and Maplin and ended with the administration of HMV and experts are warning that 2019 could follow a similar path.

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