The UK could be in danger of a triple dip recession due to a poor retail performance during an unseasonably cold March this year, which saw sales contract by 0.9% year-on-year.
According to the BDO high street sales tracker the five weeks to March 31, 2013, the relentless cold weather combined with calendar shifts, such as an earlier Mothers' Day, meant the month's like-for-like sales figures suffered.
Homewares performed the strongest over the month, with kitchenware retailers coming out on top due to "many incentives to stay in and cook" according to the BDO. Sales were up 2.2%, not quite as good as last year's 4.4% increase, but a strong results compared with fashion (-3.4%).
Non-fashion goods, including general household items, did well at 7.3% up on last year. Outdoor goods retailers also "enjoyed the benefit of the cold weather" according to the BDO. Gift departments saw like-for-likes reflect good sales over Easter.
The early Easter break also meant that overall sales were boosted for all retailers towards the end of the month.