UK retailers suffer 'washout' in June: survey

Pedestrians walk beneath sale signs, in London, Britain December 27, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s high street retailers had a “washout” June as shoppers worried about the Brexit crisis and did not respond to early summer sales discounts, accountancy and business advisory firm BDO said on Friday.

Sales fell by 0.8% last month compared with June last year, the 16th time in the last 17 months that in-store sales have shown no growth, BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker showed.

The report echoed a separate survey published last week by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) which showed sales slid at the fastest annual pace in 10 years.

“June was another washout month for the high street. We saw retailers discount early on in June, adding further pressure to tight margins, yet they still weren’t able to salvage the month,” Sophie Michael, head of retail at BDO, said.

“Retailers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They want to invest and adapt, but they don’t have the funds or confidence to do so.”

Homeware was the only bright spot with sales up 5.6% but the fashion sector was flat, despite hefty discounts, BDO said.

Reporting by Navdeep Yadav; Editing by William Schomberg