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High Streets Disappoint at Christmas Again

Christmas shop sales have dropped for a fourth year in a row following a boom in online shopping.

According to BDO’s High Street Sales Track, December’s growth ended on a relatively small -0.1%, but it follows last December’s -5.3%, the worst Christmas growth since 2008.

The unfortunate streak was nearly broken by a surge in lifestyle (+2.4%) and homeware (+2.6) sales, but they were eclipsed by a year on year decline in fashion of 1.07%.

Online sales increased massively this year, with the week before Christmas increasing to 51.1%, with an overall growth of +19%.

The falling strength of the pound could lead to further decline this year, according to Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, who believes this year will be a ‘critical juncture’ for retail.

“With such a weak base for December 2015, any further decline can only be seen as a poor result for retailers,” she explains, “this fourth negative December in succession highlights the magnitude of the challenge that lies ahead for 2017.”