Last month, sales on the high street rose almost 4 percent compared with a year ago despite a 0.4 percent dip in January according to figures published by business adviser BDO in it's monthly sales tracker.
BDO attributed the buoyancy to Valentine's Day, an extension of the January sales and said that the pick-up owed much to the positive way in which retailers are responding to the effects of the harsh weather at the beginning of the year.
In compiling and publishing the monthly sales tracker, based on actual weekly sales numbers from 70 retailers with 10,000 shops, BDO said the figures stood in contrast to the heavily depressed retail performance of a year ago.
The survey of “mid-tier” high street chains, with an annual turnover between £50m and £500m, is seen by some as a strong indication of an improvement in the high street and business in general.
“Retailers have given people a reason to spend by extending the January sales and shoppers have responded extremely positively," Don Williams, National Head of Retail and Wholesale at BDO LLP, said.
“The high street tends to dread February, but these results will be a fillip for retailers. The fact this year’s major snowfall was earlier flatter the figures slightly, but there is no doubt they reflect increasing consumer confidence.”