Not Fazed –September Sales and Consumer Confidence Defy Expectations
Building on the positive sales figures at the end of the summer period, which we discussed in an earlier article, retailers have kept the momentum going in September.
The BDO High Street Sales Tracker for the month shows that like-for-like sales were up for September by nearly 3%, being the most successful September since 2012. Lifestyle and fashion in particular had significant sales increases from the year before, even with average footfall for the month falling 2% when compared to the same month in 2016. Consumers are therefore making fewer trips to the stores, but seem to be spending more when they do, potentially preparing for the colder weather and the Christmas period.
On top of positive sales figures, consumer confidence also seems to be on the rise.
According to the GfK September Consumer Confidence Index, overall confidence has grown a point, having climbed three points since July 2017. While confidence is still well below levels from September 2016, the index is showing consumers' belief growing continually for the last few months. The index also shows growth in confidence in the general economic situation for the preceding and coming 12 months. However, somewhat paradoxically, according to the Index, consumers' confidence in their own personal financial situation in the preceding and coming 12 months and their savings has decreased.
The latest YouGov/CEBR Consumer Confidence Index shows a similar trend, with overall confidence standing at the highest level since March 2017.It looks like both consumers and retailers bucked the trend in September, which might mean that both could have even more to celebrate at the end of the year.