The UK high street is fighting back

The UK high street is fighting back

A disappointing Christmas on the UK high street has been eclipsed by a better than expected January.

Like-for-like sales grew by 1.4 percent in January, driven by a strong performance in the first two weeks of the year when the post Christmas sales were at their height.

Fashion retailers saw the strongest performance recording a year-on-year rise of 1.9 percent followed by homeware and furniture retailers, according to BDO’s high street tracker.

Lifestyle retailers saw like-for-like sales rise by 0.3 percent while non-store sales jumped by 20.2 percent in the period, although this was a slowdown on the 37.8 percent rise recorded the previous year.

In past years the post Christmas period has seen a slew of high street chains announce profit warnings after a bad Christmas, putting thousands of jobs at risk. Although some firms, such as Next, issued dire figures, there has been no high street collapses this year, suggesting that a better January has saved the day.

The poor Christmas sales figures were blamed on the unseasonably warm temperatures that were seen in the run up to Christmas.