High street retailers suffer in August

Published:  26 August, 2011

LEICESTER: Topps Tiles blamed falling consumer confidence as it reported a 10.4% drop in revenues over the last seven weeks. Shares in the company dropped 25% after the company posted a profits warning and said it will not hit City forecasts for the current financial year.

UK high street sales have suffered their sharpest fall in a year as Britain's retail sector continued to be buffered by weak consumer confidence. The latest CBI Distributive Trades Survey found that 46% of retailers suffered a fall in sales in the first half of August, while just 31% saw turnover rise.

The resulting balance of -14 is the worst monthly performance since May 2010.

Wholesalers reported a fall in sales volumes (-10%). The three-month moving average, which smoothes out volatility, is at its lowest level (-1%) since March 2010 (-13%) and is expected to remain at a similar level next month (+2%). Wholesalers' stocks are running at the highest volume in relation to demand (+35%) since December 2009, and average selling prices are expected to rise in the next three months by the weakest balance (+41%) since May last year.

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