Bad weather impacted sales with the so-called Beast from the East keeping shoppers off retail parks
Furniture was among the categories hardest hit as retail sales fell in double-digit percentages in March, according to a closely-followed survey.


Accountancy firm BDO claimed retail sales dropped 10.1 percent last month, the sharpest monthly year-over-year fall since November 2008.

Snow disruption affected all categories with online sales — while still positive at +11 percent — recording the weakest growth since December 2015.

Besides non-store sales, BDO's survey breaks down its figures into three categories: lifestyle, fashion and homewares, with the latter including big-ticket furniture lines. It said homewares were down 13.2 percent in March.

"However you look at it, March was a brutal month for stores," said Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO

"The weather was severe, and shoppers’ reaction showed how paper-thin consumer confidence is currently."

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