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Weather hampers diy and garden sales, say BRC

Published: 16 April 2008
Poor March sees dip in like-for-likes.
Diy and garden sales had a rough ride in March due to the poor weather and consumers reining in spending, the BRC has said in its latest retail monitor.

"The early Easter and bad weather hit gardening hard and also discouraged exterior diy," Joscelyne Hynard, senior analyst of the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said in the BRC's March report.

She added: "The housing market weakness and consumer caution hit big-ticket items, but trade building held up, showing some growth and new decorative ranges helped indoor diy."

Overall, last month like-for-like sales fell by 1.6% (2007: sales were up 3.9%). The decline was the worst since July 2005 when cold wet weather hit sales.

In comparison to diy and garden goods, food sales slowed after two strong months and clothing and footwear were the worst for at least eight years. Homewares and furniture fell further, despite continued discounting and promotions, the BRC said.

Many analysts are now looking to April figures to measure the extent of moves that cover range, promotions and price to see if price-conscious consumers will be tempted to buy.

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