UK retail industry hit by bad weather; sales dive 10.1%
Retail sales in the UK during the month of March 2018 were badly hit due to the unfavourable weather conditions, stated BDO High Street Sales Tracker in its latest report. During the period under review, a 10.1% decline in comparable retail sales was reported. This is worst figure since November 2008 when retails sale suffered due to heavy snowfall and financial crisis in the region. At one point of time in the month under review, the comparable sales declined by approximately 30%, the worst ever drop the industry has reported so far. Winter storms took massive toll on physical retail store sales when the retailers were expecting consumer’s positive response with the arrival of fresh Spring collections.
Mother’s Day, which was in the second week of the month, brought a little respite for the industry as it reported a 2.42% increase in sales. But, the success did not last long as the appalling winter weather kept haunting the sector in the third and fourth weeks. The third and fourth weeks also reported a 9.28% and 11.68% decline in in-store sales, respectively. The reporting month witnessed a 12.7% decline in physical store comparable fashion sales as compared to just 0.8% decline in the same period a year ago, the report added. Online retail sales, however, reported an 11% increase in comparable sales in March. Overall, March 2018 reported the lowest monthly growth since December 2015 in the UK. BDO believes that while some consumers would have shifted their shopping online as they were unable to get to stores, many avoided placing online orders altogether over concerns that deliveries would not make it through.