Independents selling DIY/hardware and garden machinery were the two star performers in a pretty gloomy Q2 for retailers.
According to the British Independent Retailers Association's Quarterly Sales Monitor, the two sectors were the only ones surveyed to show signs of growth compared with the same period last year.
Across all sectors, 43.71% of retailers reported a higher performance with an average rise of 9.34%, while 56.29% reported a fall - on average of 10.98%. The overall average was a drop of 2.10%
"The second quarter of 2012 saw independents suffer a complete reversal of two quarters which had seen them end 2011 on a rising graph," said bira, "turning in a first quarter performance that bettered anything recorded since the survey began in 2007."
The 2.3% average year on year increase of January to March, it added, "was nearly completely eradicated by the 2.1% fall in April to June."
The positive performances of hardware/DIY (+0.72%) and garden machinery (+6.09%) "suggest what spending that has been was aimed at practical ends."
Cookshops were down 3.43% while gifts, entertainment, fashion and, pet products "endured real pain".
Scottish retailers (-11.17%) "continued a year-long run of gloomy results". Northern Ireland was ahead an impressive 5.50% with the only other two areas in growth - albeit marginally - the south east (0.05%) and north west (0.33%).
The survey also found that just over half of retailers (52.87%) were anxious about the year ahead. Some 42.68% were reasonably confident with less than one in 20 (4.46%) very confident.