BDO’s September High Street Sales Tracker has shown the best growth all year as like-for-like sales rose 3.5 per cent.
The unpredictable weather and storms at the end of the month sparked a rush for winter clothing, pushing fashion up 3 per cent year on year - a marked turnaround from the 5.1 per cent drop in like-for-like this time last year following 2011’s heatwave.
Strong performances from gifting and leisure, beauty and luxury sales saw non-fashion growth of 7 per cent. Non-store sales also recovered from the post-Olympic slump growing a third (32.5 per cent) with the majority of retailers seeing double-digit growth.
The only category to dip was homewares which fell by 5.3 per cent year-on-year as the housing market continued to struggle.
National head of retail and wholesale at BDO LLP, Don Williams, commented: “These figures are being compared against a relatively weak 2011, but the predicted Olympic afterglow seems to have helped boost sales everywhere apart from homewares. The autumnal weather has certainly provided a welcome fillip for fashion sales too.
“Next month’s figures will give us a better idea of how strong the recovery is, but we expect growth to remain positive in the run up to Christmas.”
Adam Stewart, marketing director at Rakuten’s Play.com, responded to the news, adding: “It’s great to see some good news for UK retailers both online and on the high street after a challenging summer where consumers’ attention was diverted from the shops towards a summer of sports, including London 2012.
“As we enter a fresh season shoppers are clearly looking to make up for lost time, stocking up on warm clothes and entertainment for the cold autumn evenings…it’s imperative that retailers make the most of this Golden Quarter in the run up to Christmas to ensure an overall successful year of sales.”