As summer weather made a sporadic appearance and football fever gripped the nation, June retail sales not only rebounded, but also started to make up for some of the losses of last year, new figures by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP reveal.
According to BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker (HSST), total like-for-like (LFL) sales, combined in-store and online, increased by +52.1% in June, though from a base of -14.4% for the equivalent month last year.
With non-essential retailers allowed to re-open from 15th June 2020, the final two weeks of June 2021 demonstrated the strength of this year’s re-opening compared to last year. Sales jumped +41.74% in the third week from a poor base (-7.07%) for the same week last year when non-essential retailers began to re-open after the first lockdown. The final week of June saw total LFLs improve by +37.80% from a base of -15.54% for the same week in 2020.
Online spending, most notably amongst fashion retailers, also bolstered overall growth. Total non-store like-for-like sales rose steadily by +8.2% in June despite the substantial base (+102.6%) set during June 2020.
All three sectors recorded positive total like-for-like sales in June, particularly fashion and homeware, as both sectors continued their rosy recovery.
Fashion total like-for-like sales skyrocketed by +73.7% this month, though from a base of -20.9% for June last year, bolstered in part by steady spending online. June marks the fourth consecutive month of positive total LFLs for fashion.
Homeware sales also recorded a strong June, as shoppers kitted out their homes ahead of the Euros. Total like-for-like sales rose +22.0% in June from a base of +25.5% for the same month last year. This month’s result marks the fourteenth consecutive month of positive LFL sales for total homeware, as the sector enjoys sustained growth, underpinned by online sales.
Lifestyle total like-for-like sales increased by +50.9% in June, but from a base of -23.9% for the equivalent month last year. The result marks the fourth straight month of positive total LFLs for lifestyle due to consistently positive results throughout June despite diminished online sales.
Total like-for-like sales increased by +80.58% in the first week of June from a base of -22.17% for the same week last year. The second week of the month saw total like-for-like sales rise by +78.92%, though from a negative base of -19.50% last year. Total like-for-like sales increased again in week three (+41.74%) from a poor base (-7.07%) for the same week last year when non-essential retailers began to re-open after the first lockdown. The final week of June saw total like-for-like sales improve by +37.80% from a base of -15.54% for the same week last year.
Sophie Michael, Head of Retail and Wholesale at BDO LLP, said:
“These June figures continue to build on April and May’s results, with growing consumer confidence sustaining a rosy summer recovery.
“Much progress is being made in this reopening phase, with week three and four’s results demonstrating the strength of the recovery and suggesting an uplift in sales even when compared to a more ‘normal’ year.
“With higher footfall, more in-store spending and online sales still increasing above pre-pandemic levels, there are many reasons to be optimistic.
“However, the retail sector may soon face a major logistics challenge, with supply pressures restricting the availability of stock to meet this pent-up demand.
“With the threat of inflation also looming on the horizon, it remains to be seen if the summer boom can be sustained in to the Autumn.”
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Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP provides integrated advice and solutions to help businesses navigate a changing world.
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BDO LLP operates in 18 offices across the UK, employing 6,000 people offering tax, audit and assurance, and a range of advisory services. BDO LLP is the UK member firm of the BDO international network.
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Erin Dodds or Sophie Isles
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