Hey big spender!

Bad weather brings good news for retailers, reports Alice Harding

From what seemed like a chilly end to the year for retailers, it appears that the cold weather has in fact brought on a warm spell of spending across the high street and online this January.

As reported in the BDO High Street Sales Tracker news, the high street has enjoyed a comeback after December figures showed a like-for-like sales increase of only 0.1%. Retailers have in fact seen a year-on-year sales increase of an impressive +5.5% this month, the strongest rise since the second week of September 2015.

Restrained spending in December has meant that customers were keen to benefit from the end of season discounting schemes still on offer, and the good news is that this is being mainly seen in retailers’ bricks and mortar stores, hugely benefiting the high street.

Even now as we enter the last week of January with retailers coming out of their discounting periods, footfall is still firmly on the rise in most areas.

Fashion retailers in particular are making a strong comeback after struggling during the lead up to Christmas. This was due to a low demand for outerwear and footwear because of the warmer winter, which unsurprisingly has now seen a surge of spend since the temperature has hovered below 10 degrees.

The most impressive upturn, however, has been seen in the non-store sector, with remote sales having risen 25.7% year on year in the first three weeks of January. Once again, thanks to the continued discount campaigns and the cold weather snap, outdoor goods and speciality fashion had the strongest weeks through non-store sales, with many reporting triple digit sales increases.

Figures started to slow last week with an increase of just 15.6% (compared to over 20% in weeks 1-3) but they continue to represent a positive trend within retail and excitingly within high street stores.

Consumer confidence is such that retailers are expecting the resurgence to continue for some weeks and with the current low unemployment and inflation only strengthening this, 2016 looks set to be an exciting year for stores both offline and online.

For the full report from The High Street Sales Tracker BDO please click here