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January sees ‘increasing polarisation’ on high street Monday, 6th February 2012
Although fashion saw a 0.8 per cent drop, non-fashion and homeware sectors both had good news to report, experiencing a 2.4 per cent and 1.6 per cent rise respectively.
Don Williams, head of retail and wholesale at the accountancy, said: “Overall, these figures are better than expected, but behind the numbers we are seeing an increasing polarisation in the performance of high street retailers. Those that are offering consumers what they want, with new products and value, backed by superior service, are seeing weeks where their year-on-year growth tops 75 per cent.
“Those retailers that are not reacting quickly enough to their customers’ demands are seeing falls of 75 per cent. There is no longer such a thing as an average retailer and the chasm between the high performers and the strugglers is widening every month.”
Speaking to the Times, Richard Cathcart, retail analyst at Espirito Santo, said that the BDO data was “marginally positive ... This is broadly supportive of more upbeat commentary from the likes of Dixons ... and other UK-exposed general retailers. However, it remains to be seen whether these trends in demand can continue and at what gross margin these goods are being sold.”