In June, fashion retailers in the UK received positive news as total like-for-like fashion sales witnessed a remarkable increase of 73.7%. Despite being compared to a low base of -20.9% in June of the previous year, this growth was still an encouraging outcome. The surge in online spending also played a significant role in boosting overall sales. The latest High Street Sales Tracker report from BDO revealed that June marked the fourth consecutive month of positive total like-for-like sales for fashion. Last month, online spending, particularly in the fashion sector, contributed to a steady growth of 8.2% in total non-store like-for-like sales, even surpassing the significant base set in June 2020 (+102.6%).

Moreover, the lifestyle sector also witnessed positive growth, with total like-for-like sales increasing by 50.9% in June compared to the same month last year (-23.9% as the base). BDO attributes this achievement to consistently positive results throughout June, despite diminished online sales.

Another sector that saw a strong performance in June was homeware, as shoppers prepared their homes for the Euros. Total like-for-like sales in this sector rose by an impressive 22% compared to the same month last year (+25.5%).

When considering both in-store and online sales, there was a leap of 52.1% in total like-for-like sales in June. However, this growth was observed against a base of -14.4% for the equivalent month last year. The sporadic summer weather and England’s success in the Euros football tournament contributed to the rebound of retail sales in June, helping to compensate for some of the losses experienced in the previous year.

BDO emphasizes that the reopening of non-essential retailers in mid-June last year played a significant role in the improved performance in the final two weeks of the month compared to the same period in 2020. In the third week of June, sales jumped by 41.74% compared to a poor base from the previous year (-7.07%), while the final week of the month witnessed a 37.8% improvement in total like-for-like sales against a base of -15.54% for the same week in 2020.

Sophie Michael, head of Retail and Wholesale at BDO LLP, expressed optimism about the ongoing recovery in the retail sector. She noted that consumer confidence is growing, and the strength of the recovery is evident in the June figures. Despite potential challenges such as supply constraints restricting the availability of stock and the looming threat of inflation, Michael believes there are many reasons to be optimistic. With higher footfall, increased in-store spending, and online sales continuing to exceed pre-pandemic levels, the summer boom may potentially extend into the autumn months.

Useful links:
BDO High Street Sales Tracker June Report
Retail Gazette: UK Fashion Sales Leap 73.7% in Best June in Recent History